Ghana, Cuba To Join Forces To Fight Malaria

Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia has reiterated government’s commitment to eradicate malaria and other mosquito-transmitted diseases in the country.

He said malaria had caused significant number of deaths in Ghana and cost the African Continent billions of dollars.

Vice President Bawumia said this when a high-powered Cuban delegation led by Mrs Mercedes Lopez Acea, the Vice President of the Council of State of Cuba, called on him at the Flagstaff House in Accra, on Monday.

Mrs Acea was accompanied by Mrs Ana Teresita Gonzalez, the Deputy Cuban Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Mohammad Habibu Tijani, Ghana’s Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration and Ambassador Napoleon Abdulai, Ghana’s Ambassador to Cuba.

Vice President Bawumia said the Government of Ghana would renew discussions with the Cuban Government for the establishment of a Biolarvicide factory at Savelugu in the Northern Region.

The Biolarvicide production factory would produce insecticides to destroy the larvae of a mosquito, and help control pests and mosquito transmitted diseases in Ghana and the West African Sub-region.

Statistics from the Ghana Health Service showed that, a child dies every 30 seconds from malaria and accounts for about 40 per cent of public health expenditures in endemic countries.

Vice President Bawumia said deaths from malaria were avoidable and wanted that facility to help eradicate the disease, not just in Ghana, but the whole of the West Africa sub region.

“The malaria programme in Savelugu in the northern Ghana is an area that Ghana wants to see the proposals come to fruition for the malaria control programme,” he said.

Vice President Bawumia acknowledged the longstanding relations between the two countries and emphasised Ghana’s appreciation to the Government of Cuba for supporting various sectors of the Ghanaian society.

He mentioned the Cuban Medical Brigade Assistance Programme, which had witnessed Cuban medical doctors and other health personnel undertaking voluntary work in remote areas of the country.

The Vice President noted that, more than 3,000 Ghanaian students had also benefitted from training in Cuba, with many of them contributing their quota to national development.

Vice President Bawumia, who is the Head of the Economic Management Team, expressed government’s commitment to welcome the Cuban business community to Ghana, to add value to the country’s raw resources.

“We know that the Cuban business community has expressed interest in Ghana’s cocoa beans. We believe that if Ghana and Cuba cooperate, we can add value to Ghana’s cocoa sector,” he stated.

Mrs Acea, on her part, lauded Ghana’s leading role in ensuring peace and stability in the West African Sub-region, and expressed her country’s commitment to expand and deepen the relationship for their mutual benefit.

“We’re proud that we have trained over 3,000 Ghanaian students, who are now playing key roles in Ghana’s development.

“We’re also very proud of the achievements of the Cuban Medical Brigade, some of whom have been in Ghana for over 15 years. I believe we can explore other areas of mutual benefit,” Mrs Acea stated.

Apart from malaria, mosquitoes can cause the following ailments: dengue, West Nile virus, chikungunya, yellow fever, filariasis, tularemia, dirofilariasis, Japanese encephalitis, Saint Louis encephalitis, Western equine encephalitis, Eastern equine encephalitis, Venezuelan equine encephalitis, Ross River fever, Barmah Forest fever, among others.

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