Contact: Felix Nyanor-Fosu
Private Sector Malaria Prevention (PSMP)
Johns Hopkins Center for Communication Programs
NOTICE TO THE PRESS
Honorable First Lady Rebecca Akufo-Addo To Urge Employers in Ghana to be “Malaria Safe,” During Malaria Safe Launch on February 22
On February 22, the Honorable First Lady Rebecca Akufo-Addo will discuss investments that protect workers and communities from malaria, as part of the launch of workplace initiative called Malaria Safe, developed by the UK Department for International Development (DFID)-funded Private Sector Malaria Prevention (PSMP) project of Johns Hopkins Center for Communication Programs. The launch of the Malaria Safe initiative—and a Malaria Safe Guide containing tips for becoming a Malaria Safe institution—will begin at 9:30 a.m. on February 22 in the Labadi Beach Hotel in Accra.
Malaria Safe is being launched to support companies in increasing their productivity and reducing absenteeism rates due to malaria and related illnesses. The launch is timely, as a report in the Malaria Journal recently indicated that 93% of companies in the Accra, Ashanti, and Western regions surveyed agreed businesses need to invest in this area. According to the report, among the 62 companies surveyed, malaria resulted in economic losses of US$6.58 million over two years (2012 to 2014), and nearly 4,000 workdays due to absenteeism.
“Companies that partner with the PSMP project and adopt the Malaria Safe pillars will be taking strides to protect their employees and communities from malaria, which is important because malaria has far-reaching effects on business and the economy,” said Felix Nyanor-Fosu, PSMP Chief of Party. “Malaria Safe will contribute to reducing the burden of malaria among workers and communities in Ghana.”
Malaria Safe actions are actions that lead to a future free of malaria, which are categorized into four pillars—protection, education, visibility, and championing. For instance, distributing insecticide-treated nets (ITNs) and providing ITN education to employees and communities are key recommended actions in the protection and education pillars, while championing and raising visibility of malaria prevention efforts motivate people to use the nets, and inspire other institutions to invest as well. The Malaria Safe Guide was developed based on the best practices, resources, and experiences of companies that have been committed to the fight against malaria in Ghana and across endemic Sub-Saharan Africa.
The Honourable First Lady is joining business leader Prince Kofi Amoabeng, British High Commissioner Jon Benjamin, the Ghana Health Services, and others, in providing remarks during the launch in support of the Malaria Safe initiative.
Together with the Ghana National Malaria Control Programme and other partners, PSMP aims to accelerate private-sector workplace investments in malaria prevention. As such, the programme will support employers by facilitating cost-effective ITN distribution plans, while providing workplace malaria education sessions for company staff and community members. PSMP also works with manufacturers, distributers, and retailers to help expand the commercial sector’s ability to sell ITNs in urban retail markets.
 Nonvignon, Justice, et al. “Economic burden of malaria on businesses in Ghana: a case for private sector investment in malaria control.” Malaria Journal 15.1 (2016): 454.