She said “studies have shown that nine working days are lost per each episode of malaria a worker suffers and businesses lose 30 productive working days each year due to malaria”.
She added that since every business in Ghana has a worker suffering from malaria during the course of the year, the disease can be described as the proximal cause and consequence of low productivity and under development.
Mrs Akufo-Addo was speaking at the commemoration of the World Malaria Day in Accra under the theme ‘End Malaria for Good.’
Malaria deaths reduced by 79% in 16 years
Malaria deaths have been reduced by 79 per cent, according to statistics available to the National Malaria Control Programme (NMCP) of the Ghana Health Service (GHS).
Per the numbers, 1,037 people died from malaria last year which showed a positive reduction from 6,198 in the year 2000.
Mrs Akufo-Addo appealed to the corporate world to support the fight saying “by investing in the fight against malaria, you will be exercising your power to stop deaths due to malaria and at the same time your investments will generate real returns as it will be a key driver of business growth.”
She commended the members of the foundations for the noble course they are charting and urged all Ghanaians to give them their maximum support to carry out the objective.
Dr Constance Bart-Plange, NMCP Manager, said since 2012, the proportion of Out Patients Departments (OPD) malaria cases tested by microscopy or Rapid Diagnostic Tests (RDT) has increased from a low figure of 38.9 per cent to 77.3 per cent.
She urged communities and families to ensure regular use and proper care of the Insecticide Treated Nets (ITNs) to protect them from getting malaria.
The day was also used to inaugurate the Ghana Malaria Foundation which will have a Board of Trustees headed Mr Prince Kofi Amoabeng, who is the President of the UT Holdings.
Other members of the Foundation include: Mr KojoYankah, Prof. Edward S. Ayesu, Mr Harrison Abutiate, Mrs Elizabeth Joyce Villars, Mr Anthony Oppong, Mr Kojo Attah-Krah and Dr Constance Bart-Plange.
The rest are: Mr Michael Nyinaku, Dr Michael Agyekum Addo, Dr Joyce Rosalind Aryee, Dr Elias Kavinah Sory, and Mr Tony Ashitei Lithur.
The Ghana Malaria Foundation has a vision of having a malaria-free Ghana by 2030 and with a mission to attract, invest, and manage domestic and international resources to fight malaria in order to achieve and sustain a Malaria Free Ghana.
Their goal is to build a sustainable resource base for malaria control in Ghana with a target of self-sufficiency in funding of malaria elimination by 2030.