In Abidjan, companies commit to ending malaria

Press Release • 02 December 2022

As part of the 3rd Africa Health Expo, Speak Up Africa and the Ecobank Foundation are organising a round table on the Zero Malaria Business Leadership Initiative, on 2 December. Africa Santé Expo is the annual meeting of the health sector in Africa and brings together African and international actors on health issues from 1 to 3 December 2022 in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire.

The theme of this round table is “Fighting for What Matters: Lessons Learned, Successes and Next Steps of the Zero Malaria Business Leadership Initiative” and it is an opportunity to highlight the important role that the private sector plays in eliminating this preventable and treatable disease. Among the speakers will be representatives of the Ecobank Foundation, Canal + Senegal, Univers Bio Médical from Burkina Faso and a representative of the Beninese Parliament. 

According to the latest report from the World Health Organization (WHO), despite efforts and progress in recent years, malaria remains a threat to people around the world, causing more than 627,000 deaths in 2020, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa where 96% of cases occur. In certain African Countries, malaria has a considerable impact on GDP growth of up to 1.3% and places a heavy burden on private sector businesses. The disease, through employee absenteeism, reduced productivity and increased benefit costs, continues to affect the profits of businesses across the African continent and beyond. 

Private sector involvement in malaria elimination can boost national goals by mobilising more partners and resources. It is in private sector companies’ interest to take part in national malaria control efforts, as a healthy population promotes the development of the country’s economy and allows the private sector to operate efficiently.

« In Africa, the private sector is an indispensable ally in the fight against malaria. The Ecobank Group is working through the Zero Malaria Business Leadership Initiative to mobilise businesses to support national efforts to eliminate malaria. »

Paul-Harry Aithnard, Regional Executive Director, Francophone West Africa & Managing Director Ecobank Côte d’Ivoire

Joint efforts by all committed stakeholders are essential to enable, among other things, enhanced resource mobilisation to achieve the goal of eliminating malaria by 2030.

« We all have a role to play to achieve malaria elimination in Africa. The commitment of all parts of society is a critical step towards ending the disease by 2030. »

Yacine Djibo, Executive Director of Speak Up Africa

Reducing malaria transmission is a reality, yet elimination is a challenge that Africa must face if the disease is to be ended on the continent.

« To eliminate malaria, we need to ensure that the disease is seen as the threat it really is. The private sector and the media have an important role to play in mobilising the necessary resources to eliminate it. »

concludes Maimouna Tounkara, Head of Communications at Canal + Senegal

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