Anglogold Ashanti Ghana Limited Obuasi Mine through its Malaria Control Unit on Thursday, April 25, 2019, commemorated World Malaria Day for the first time in Obuasi with the aim of building a strong partnership with all stakeholders to permanently eliminate malaria from the District.
The occasion saw the presence of the Municipality Chief Executive of Obuasi Hon. Elijah Adansi- Bonah, Representative of Obuasi East DCE, Head of Operations, Anglogold Ashanti, Mr. Brett Thompson, AGA Sustainability Manager Nana Ampofo Bekoe, Nananom, Officials of various Security Agencies, Assembly Members, Teachers and Students as well as the general public.
Hon. Elijah Adansi- Bonah, Municipal Chief Executive of Obuasi in an address congratulated Anglogold Ashanti for introducing the Malaria Control Programme which has been very fruitful over the years since its introduction in 2006.
He said the exercise has contributed massively to the reduction in malaria infection and it is one of the best Cooperate Social Responsibility tasks set out by any mining company in the world. He lauded Nananom as well as Assembly Members for their supportive role in encouraging community members to accept the indoor residual spraying exercise which was initially opposed by some residents in the Municipality.
Hon. Elijah Adansi- Bonah further encouraged citizens to exhibit a high level of Commitment in the fight against malaria thereby partaking in all form of clean-up exercises. He also requested for annual malaria test and treatment to be conducted among all final year Junior High School Students in Obuasi.
The programs Director of Anglogold Ashanti Malaria Control (AGAMAL) said AGA in response to the alarming rate of Malaria cases reported in the Communities, set up (AGAMAL) in 2006 to help curb the situation which contributed to many deaths in Obuasi.
He said the initial target was to reduce malaria reported cases by 50% in the first two years which was exceedingly met at a reduction of 74% in two years since its introduction. He said the AGA Malaria Control Unit is currently conducting spraying exercises in 16 District in Ghana and have already sprayed the entire Upper West region, 3 Districts in the Upper East region and 2 Districts in Ashanti region which are Obuasi Municipal and Obuasi East District with support from the Global Fund, Inking IRS and Anglogold Ashanti.
He also indicated that the spraying exercise was extended to prison centers in 2018 and spraying will soon begin in all prisons across the country in order to offer protection to inmates and prison officers.
He again revealed that Obuasi now stands at an overwhelming reduction point of 16% and aiming at a zero mark in the next few years. He also encouraged the general public to adopt the three (3) Ts procedure which is Test, Treat and Tract to fight the disease as well as keeping their environments clean.
Mr. Brett Thompson, Head of Operations at Anglogold Ashanti said the Theme for the occasion “Zero malaria starts with me” underscores the call to action for concrete steps to be taken individually and collectively towards ending the disease to safeguard citizen’s physical, economic and social existence.
He called on cooperate bodies to solicit for support to generate enough resources to initiate adequate policies that will enable us to defeat malaria in Obuasi.
Mr. Thompson said malaria remains a major public health problem in Africa and Ghana in particular which constitute a major barrier to socio and economic development. This he said over 90% of Ghanaian populace is at risk and children and pregnant women are seen to be more vulnerable to the disease.
He also indicated that aside the massive reduction in malaria cases as reported by various health facilities in Obuasi, the malaria control program has provided thousands of job opportunities to the teeming youths of Obuasi within the mining environments and outside.
“One key message for this year is that, through reducing and eliminating malaria, we become healthier and prosperous society and promote a broadly inclusive multi-sectorial response to collectively free Obuasi and Ghana from the burden of malaria” he noted.