Encouraged by the success of its Indoor Residual Spraying (IRS) programme in the Upper West Region last year, AngloGold Ashanti (AGA) Malaria, AGA’s award winning malaria control organisation is extending its malaria eradication programme to other districts in Ghana.
These are in the Upper East, Upper West, Northern and Western regions, beyond Obuasi and adjoining districts.
More than 1.3 million people in 12 districts across the Upper East and Ashanti regions benefitted from AGA Malaria programmes in 2012.
Over 570,000 structures were sprayed in the last six months. In 2013, AGA Malaria is extending the programme to the West and Upper West regions, reaching an estimated further 1.2 million people.
By the end of 2013 the programme should reach 22 districts, including additional areas in the Upper East region. With $133 million funding from the Global Fund, after 5 years AGA Malaria should be spraying in 40 districts and municipalities in malaria endemic areas, most in northern regions of Ghana.
Besides saving lives, the AGA Malaria programme has created significant local employment opportunities for residents of the beneficiary districts. In 2012, over 750 people were trained and employed to run the programme. In 2013, AGA Malaria is looking at employing and training an additional 1,400 staff. The number of employees should rise to over 3000 by end 2015.
AGA Malaria received an A1 rating from the Global Fund in November 2012 for Grant Management and Programmatic performance. In addition to the IRS programme, AGA Malaria educates people on the use of mosquito nets and how to keep the environment clean to discourage deadly mosquitoes.
“AGA believes that local community involvement and long term partnerships are key to sustainable operations. That is why the reduction of malaria makes good economic sense. It benefits not just the communities in which the company operates but all the people of Ghana,” explained Fred Attakumah, Vice President Sustainability, AGA, Ghana. “AGA is committed to making communities in which it operates better off for the company’s presence through long term sustainable development initiatives,” he continued.
The malaria programme started in 2005 in Obuasi, funded by AGA. It was implemented with the Obuasi Municipal Assembly, Noguchi Institute of Medical Research and the National Malaria Control. By December 2011, the number of malaria cases recorded in Obuasi had reduced by 75%.
A critical success factor of the AGA Malaria project is strong partnership with the Government of Ghana, research institutions and local communities.