As part of Ecobank Ghana’s corporate social responsibility (CSR), the bank has given $120,000 as an initial fund to the National Malaria Elimination Programme and the government’s efforts to eradicate malaria in Ghana.
The donation was made at the launch of the Zero Malaria Leadership Initiative as evidence of its commitment to fighting and eliminating malaria in Ghana.
Edward Botchway, Ecobank’s Executive Director and Head of Consumer Banking, stated that the Zero Malaria Business Leadership Initiative has three primary goals, which are as follows:
Increasing and sustaining funding for national malaria elimination;
Strengthening the network of private sector malaria champions;
Enhancing capacity for coordinated action at the national level, hence the need for the seed donation.
Ecobank’s goals are to gather resources, push for change, and forge strategic alliances that will have a significant impact. Ecobank Ghana took this action for all of these reasons.
“The negative impact of malaria on our society cannot be overemphasised. The negative impact of malaria includes eroding productivity, disrupting education, diminishing purchasing power and placing an immense burden on the healthcare system”, Edward Botchway said.
“The economic consequences are grave, affecting our Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by up to 5-6 percent. However, by eliminating malaria we can unlock tremendous opportunities for growth and improve the quality of life for our citizens,” he noted.
Mr. Botchway made the most of the opportunity to encourage all Ghanaian actors working in the private sector to join the effort to eradicate malaria completely from Ghana. He stated, ” At the national, regional, and local assembly levels, let us make a commitment to a long-term partnership in the fight against malaria.
Senior Malaria Advisor of Speak Up Africa, James Wallen, additionally showed that Ghana is the fifth country to take on the Zero Malaria Business Leadership Drive following Senegal, Benin, Burkina Faso and Uganda.
He stated that eradicating malaria is dependent on a great deal of things, one of which is the significance of a robust partnership strategy that involves partners from multiple sectors.
“Indeed, the basic idea behind the Zero Malaria Start with Me campaign – initially conceived in Senegal in collaboration with PATH and the Ministry of Health in 2014 – is that every sector, and every individual at every level of society, has a crucial role to play making malaria-elimination a reality”
Mr. Wallen went on to say that the Zero Malaria Business Initiative was created to specifically target private sector businesses and business leaders because the private sector is so important to the fight against malaria.
In support of Health Minister Kwaku Agyeman Manu, Special Advisor to the Minister of Health on Human Resources, Baffour Awuah, stated that malaria kills over 600,000 people every year in Africa alone, with children under the age of five tragically accounting for over two-thirds of those deaths.
He mentioned that malaria is the leading cause of hospital admissions and outpatient department (OPD) attendance in Ghana. He said intestinal sickness applies a huge monetary weight on the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), and costing the country 1-2 percent of GDP is assessed.
Mr. Awuah called on all private sector companies operating in Ghana to integrate malaria into their CSR plans and health strategies, and join in accomplishing the malaria elimination project.
Zero Malaria Business Leadership is an initiative led by Ecobank Group, and in partnership with the Senegal-based policy and advocacy action outfit ‘Speak Up Africa’ set out to drive private sector engagement for the fight against malaria in Africa.
According to the Zero Malaria Leadership Initiative factsheet, Ghana accounts for 2.0 percent of the global malaria burden – making it one of the top-eleven highest malaria-burdened countries in the world.
The region most affected by malaria is Oti Region, with the highest parasite prevalence of 15 percent from the 2022 Ghana Demographic and Health Survey (GDHS).