Malaria is a major killer in many sub-Saharan African countries. This has gross economic impact, not just at the domestic level, but also at the business level.
Speaking at an event to whip up investor confidence in malaria-related programmes in Accra Tuesday April 19, 2016, the Malaria Programme Manager at the Ghana Health Service, Dr. Constance Bart-Plange reiterated the need to do more to mitigate the economic impact of malaria in Ghana.
Dr. Bart-Plange mentioned that malaria costs the business community millions of Ghana cedis each year.
“Malaria of course is taking a big toll on businesses,” she stated, adding: “In 2015, studies done showed that for private businesses (it didn’t include the government businesses), malaria cost them almost $6.6 million, which translate to about GHS20 million.
“And this total cost, 90 per cent of it is direct cost,” she added.
“When we say direct cost, it is the treatment cost of malaria, [that is] taking transportation to hospitals while the 10 per cent is indirect cost”, she explained.
“The businesses are losing because if you get malaria, you do not go to work, so, productivity goes down”.
Meanwhile the Ghana Health Service has said Ghanaians are over-treating malaria, as research indicates only a quarter of malaria tests taken had shown presence of malaria.
The country has, however, recorded a reduction in malaria-related deaths from 3,882 to 2,137.
Director of Public Health Division of the Health Service, Dr. Badu Sarkodie said the country is on track to beating down malaria.