Ecobank Ghana, as part of its corporate social investment, is mobilising the private sector to raise financial resources to eradicate malaria in the country.
Consequently, the bank on Thursday, during the official launch of the Zero Malaria Business Leadership Initiative (ZMBLI) held at its head office, donated an amount of $120,000 to the Zero Malaria Fund to set the pace for other private sector companies to support the fund.
The gesture by Ecobank Ghana, under the ZMBLI which is part of the Zero Malaria Campaign, started by the National Malaria Control Programme of Senegal in collaboration with Non-governmental organisations such as PATH, Speak Up Africa and adopted by the African Union in 2018, is to mobilise political, private sector commitment and community engagement towards the eradication of malaria.
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The objective of the ZMBLI is to sustain and increase funding for national malaria control and mobilise private sector financial resources to combat the disease.
Ghana has set an ambitious target to eradicate malaria from the country by 2030, and the government estimates that $961 million will be needed between 2020 and 2029 to eliminate malaria in the country.
Speaking at the launch of the ZMBLI, the Executive Director and Head of Consumer Banking of Ecobank Ghana, Dr Edward Botchway, said the launch marked a significant milestone in the fight against malaria, and noted the bank’s commitment to help eradicate malaria in the country.
“At Ecobank, we firmly believe that the private sector has a crucial role to play in driving positive change and fostering sustainable development. It is in this spirit that we proudly lead the Zero Malaria Business Leadership Initiative in collaboration with the RBM Partnership to End Malaria and Speak Up Africa to galvanise support for the just cause of ensuring the elimination of malaria in Ghana. We do this with the singular aim of harnessing the power of the private sector to mobilise resources, and to advocate for stronger political leadership in the fight against malaria,” he stated.
Dr Botchway said the negative impact of malaria on the society could not be overemphasised, as it eroded productivity, disrupted education and placed an immense burden on the health care system.
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“With this launch, we the partners stand united in our commitment to addressing one of the most pressing health challenges of our time. The fight against malaria demands our unwavering attention and collective action, as malaria remains a disease that continues to threaten the lives and wellbeing of millions of people, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa,” he stated.
The Minister of Health, Mr Kwaku Agyeman-Manu, in a speech read on his behalf by Dr Baffour Awuah, Acting Director in charge of the Technical Coordination Directorate of Ministry of Health, commended Ecobank Ghana and the other partners for their commitment to the fight to eradicate malaria in the country.
He called on other private sector companies operating in Ghana to integrate malaria into their corporate social responsibility plans and health strategies.
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The Senior Malaria Advisor for Speak Up Africa, James Wallen, said his outfit was dedicated to catalysing African leadership, fostering policy change, and raising awareness around sustainable development issues in Africa, and lauded the Ministry of Health, Ghana Health Service and the National Malaria Elimination Programme for embracing the ZMBLI.
BY KINGSLEY ASARE