The Managing Director of Ecobank Ghana, Mr Daniel Sackey at the official press briefing of the 2021 World Malaria Day held on April 28, 2021, at the Ecobank Head Office auditorium under the theme “Zero Malaria, Draw the line against Malaria” said that it is an opportunity to evaluate the progress made so far.
According to him, Ecobank being a financial institution that is keen on impacting positively the health of people living in the communities it operates has partnered with the National Malaria Control Programme as it leads the fight towards the elimination of this endemic disease.
Addressing the stakeholders at the press briefing, Mr Sackey said that World Malaria Day affords the stakeholders in the fight against malaria the opportunity to evaluate their progress and strengthen their resolve in the fight against the disease that remains the highest cause of morbidity in Ghana.
He added that a day like this also allows the stakeholders to reflect on the hearts and homes that have been devastated by the loss of loved ones to Malaria; disclosing that, economically, malaria is estimated to cost Africa 12 billion dollars every year.
“The economic impact of malaria is estimated to cost Africa $12 billion dollars every year. This figure factors in costs of health care, absenteeism, days lost in education, decreased productivity due to brain damage from cerebral malaria, and loss of investment and tourism,” he disclosed.
He again highlighted that malaria elimination in Ghana is predicted to cost $961 million dollars between 2020 and 2029; thus, compared to the baseline, the elimination is estimated to prevent 85.5 million cases, save 4,468 lives, and avert $2.2 billion in health system expenditures.
“…eliminating malaria will increase prosperity across Africa over the long term, fostering a healthier workforce, spurring economic growth and reducing the cost burden associated with malaria”, he emphasized.
He, therefore, announced the plans of Ecobank to launch the “Zero Malaria Business Leaders Initiative” to fully mobilize the private sector to support efforts to eliminate malaria from Africa.
“Ecobank, working with the African Union and the RBM Partnership to End Malaria, launched the pan African “Zero Malaria Starts with Me” movement across the continent in 2018. This was adopted by 55 Heads of African governments, and 19 countries have since launched the campaign on a national scale, igniting grassroots movements that seek to engage individuals, families, communities, religious, business and political leaders as well as other members of civil society to take full ownership of the fight to end malaria,” he disclosed.
He further disclosed that, “in Ghana, Ecobank Ghana, in collaboration with the Ecobank Foundation, has effectively partnered with NMCP under the auspices of the Ministry of Health to accelerate joint efforts to eliminate this preventable and treatable disease. This partnership started earlier with Ecobank donating insecticide-treated bed nets to the National Malaria Control Programme”.
The Managing Director of Ecobank Ghana again mentioned that in July 2020 on the 2nd anniversary of the “Zero Malaria Starts with Me” campaign, a new initiative was launched by the Ecobank Group and Speak Up Africa (a policy and advocacy tank) on the theme “Zero Malaria Business Leadership Initiative (ZMBLI)”.
He indicated that the initiative aims to promote the mobilization of resources from the private sector in order to sustainably finance the fight against malaria and to leverage the skills and influence of private sector leaders.
He stressed that the Zero Malaria Business Leadership Initiative (ZMBLI) has so far launched in three Francophone African countries, namely Burkina Faso, Benin and Senegal; revealing that as part of activities marking World Malaria Day 2021, Ghana will be the first Anglophone country to launch this initiative in July 2021.
“As we commend the National Malaria Control Programme and the Ministry of Health for the good work and the various initiatives being implemented to eradicate malaria in Ghana…we pledge our unwavering support to the programme. We wish to call on other private sector institutions to join this worthy fight in supporting the NMCP and its stakeholders in the battle to treat and finally eliminate the scourge of malaria in Ghana,” he called out.
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