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AngloGold Ashanti launches malaria control programme

AngloGold Ashanti Iduapriem (AAI) mine has launched its malaria control programme in its catchment areato help reduce the spread of malaria cases in the Tarkwa Nsueam municipality.

The project, expected to cover sixteen host communities, would affect an estimated population of about 5,850 in 1,350 households in the municipality.

An estimated amount of GH¢238,410 would be spent on the programme which would also create employment for the beneficiary communities.

Mrs Gifty Eugenia Kusi, the Deputy Western Regional Minister, who launched the programme at Adieyie in the Western Region, commended AAI for being a good corporate company and leading others in the effort to eradicate malaria from their communities.

She said the Western Regional Co-ordinating Council does support the programme as it also complements the efforts of the Western Regional Malaria control programme.

Mrs Kusi said government is committed to implementing policies that would improve upon the health sector including building the capacity of health personnel to offer their best.

She said the government has decided to build a western regional hospital and twenty five district hospitals across the country.

Mr Jasper Musadaidzwa, Managing Director of AAI, said new cases of malaria among employees and contractors increased from 172 cases in 2015 to 263 cases in 2016.

He said new cases for the second quarter of 2017 stands at 218 adding that if appropriate measures are not taken, the current rate could double.

"Out Patient Department reports from the mine hospital indicates that malaria contributed to a significant increase in loss of time in 2015 and 2016 and the second quarter of this year", he said.

Mr Musadaidzwa said AAI is working at ultimately achieving the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) three which is: "ensuring healthy lives and promoting wellbeing for all at all ages by 2030".

He said the mine was aligning its health targets to the SDG three target of ending the epidemic of malaria and other communicable diseases adding that this was in line with the Iduapriem malaria control programme.

Mr Musadaidzwa said the company was committed to reversing the trend by ensuring that their employees and communities are healthy so as to enhance productivity in their various occupations.

He said the eradication of malaria cannot be left to the government alone and that the mine would play its part to complement the efforts of government.

Mr Musadaidzwa said the project would be mainstreamed into the municipal directorate malaria control programme to ensure continuity.

Source: GNA