11.05.2005 Regional News

1.6 million-dollar malaria campaign to begin at Obuasi

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Obuasi, May 11, GNA - AngloGold Ashanti has committed itself to the implementation of an integrated malaria campaign programme at Obuasi this year.

A company report said the 1.6-million-dollar programme is set to start in June.

The report said Prof Richard Hunt of the National Institute of Communicable Diseases in South Africa, a world authority on insecticides resistance, was contracted to perform a study that would inform the way in which the malaria control programme should be structured. "When fully implemented by 2005, the integrated malaria control programme will consist of activities like vector control, disease management, surveillance and monitoring and information, education and communication", it said.

The report said the burden of malaria was reflected in increased morbidity, mortality and absenteeism in the workforce as well as in decreased productivity and morale.

It continued that the effect of malaria on surrounding non-mine communities was profound with children and pregnant women being most severely infected. The report said the situation in Obuasi was not different from other mining concerns of the company as upward 6,000 malaria cases per month were reported by the mine medical service. It said at any point in time, 20 per cent of the workforce has malaria and the average time off work for this condition was between two and three days.

Mr Joe Boampong, the acting Obuasi Municipal Chief Executive, has advised all assembly members in the municipality to support the programme.

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