Last week we highlighted the global role of the private sector in malaria control. Today we share some specific country level examples from Ghana.
For the past few years AngloGold Ashanti has been operating a successful pilot indoor residual spray (IRS) program in Obuasi District.Â The project reported downward trends in hospital attendance and admission due to malaria which were attributed to the twice yearly spraying efforts.Â Some pilot larviciding was also included.
Based on these efforts US President’s Malaria Initiative working with the National Malaria Control Program and partners began planning to initiate IRS in five northern districts. “PMI expanded IRS from five to six districts, protecting over 708,000 residents,” and is now planning collaboration with Ghana’s Global Fund grant recipients to expand further.
Now Now AngloGold Ashanti is ready “to extend its anti-malaria control to 40 districts in the Upper East and West, Ashanti, Western and Northern regions of Ghana, come January 2010,” as a recipient of Global Fund support from Ghana’s Round 8 Malaria Grant.
Another private partner in Ghana is the Zoomlion Waste Management Company. The Ghanaian Chronicle reports that, “The Volta Region office of Zoomlion Waste Management Company Limited has intensified its efforts to spray gutters, toilets and refuse disposal sites in the districts, as a step to destroying the breeding grounds and resting places of mosquitoes, to curb the menace of malaria.”
While such spraying may be more likely to kill culex species of malaria more than the malaria-bearing anopheles, the effort does show how the private sector can play a direct role.
Another mining company, Newmont, while not providing direct services, does offer health education to “help all those in affected areas prevent the spread of this terrible yet preventable disease,” on its website.
The telecoms giant, “MTN Ghana, a leading telecom company in Ghana, has announced that since its entrance into the Ghanaian telecom market, the company has invested about $2 million in socio-economic development projects in the areas of health and education.” More specifically, as part of its malaria fund and awareness raising efforts leading up to the Football World Cup of 2010, MTN is including Ghana in its target countries.
These examples are not meant to be exhaustive, but to show the different roles the private sector can play at the country level ranging from direct control activities to raising awareness and educating people to protect themselves.Â For long term benefit, all such efforts need to be coordinated, like the IRS project, with the National Malaria Control Program and its RBM Partners.