The First Lady Mrs. Rebecca Akufo-Addo has stated that taking the necessary steps to vigorously fight Malaria will have positive implications for human development, business and economic growth on the African continent.
As a result, realization of the Ghana Beyond Aid agenda can be achieved when we have amongst others, an educated, skilled and healthy workforce.
Mrs. Akufo-Addo made this known when she addressed relevant stakeholders and industry players at the Corporate Award Ceremony of the Private Sector Malaria Prevention (PSMP) Project and GBCHealth Corporate Alliance on Malaria Africa (CAMA)’s West Africa” Zero Malaria Now” on Thursday, April 5, 2018 in Accra.
According to her, just as there is ample evidence that malaria impedes the overall economic development of Ghana and other countries of the sub-region and considering that we need a healthy future workforce for our economic development, it is about time malaria is nipped in the bud.
“Malaria is also absolutely bad for business. Malaria depletes the workforce and reduces productivity. Sick employees stay home, and companies are compelled to spend huge amounts on their healthcare. The corporate heads here, can testify that this affects your profitability. And it is not only businesses that lose. Families lose and governments also lose,” she explained.
She continued that because malaria is both a disease of poverty and a cause of poverty in the West Africa region, I commend private sector organizations within the West Africa sub region, who have taken steps to help control this disease, by protecting their employees and communities.
Touching on the benefits of mitigating the disease, she stressed that “when we eliminate malaria, Ghana would reap enormous benefits. We would quicken our pace of development and become more self-reliant. This applies to all countries within the sub-region too. The sub- region must fight malaria together, for faster economic transformation. This is important because of the movement of people across borders in our sub-region.”
“We must create a malaria-free belt in West Africa,” Mrs. Akufo-Addo succinctly re-iterated.
Known for her affinity to the cause of children and women, she held that, the most vulnerable of the victims of malaria are women and children, and added “as an advocate for the well-being of women and children, malaria greatly inhibits a woman’s ability to effectively complete household tasks, including childcare.”
“Children affected by malaria miss school, which obviously affects their ability to keep up with their mates. Younger children who contract cerebral malaria suffer brain damage that may result in life-long learning difficulties,” the First Lady indicated.
Accordingly, “when we eliminate malaria, Ghana would reap enormous benefits. We would quicken our pace of development and become more self-reliant” and the prospects of our young ones towards a better future can best be realized.
The event is to recognize and honour companies that have demonstrated a strong commitment to reducing the disease through innovative and sustainable programmes and have continually taken steps to demonstrate that malaria prevention is an important element of economic development, for malaria-endemic countries.