Feb 14 (Government of Ghana) Official statistics from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) show that in Africa, malaria kills more people than all the wars on the continent combined, with a child dying every 30 seconds from the scourge. The disease also accounts for about 40% of public health expenditure in endemic countries.
The Government of Ghana has, therefore, pledged commitment to eradicating malaria and other mosquito-transmitted diseases, which had led to significant numbers of deaths in Ghana and Africa, with its associated cost of billions of dollars in lost productivity.
Consequently, the Government of Ghana, in collaboration with the Cuban Government is to establish a Biolarvicide factory in Ghana to control and eradicate pests and mosquito-transmitted diseases.
The establishment of the Biolarvicide factory, to be sited at Savelugu in the northern region of Ghana and expected to serve Ghana, and the entire sub-region, was as a result of renewed discussions between the two countries.
This came to light when a Cuban delegation, led by Mrs Mercedes Lopez Acea, Vice President of the Council of State of Cuba, and Mrs Ana Teresita Gonzalez, Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs of Cuba, called on the Vice President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, at the Flagstaff House on Monday.
The delegation was accompanied by Ghana’s Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Hon Mohammad Habibu Tijani, and Ghana’s Ambassador to Cuba, Amb. Napoleon Abdulai.
In his remarks, Vice President Bawumia said the malaria programme in Savelugu was in the interest of government’s quest to eradicating malaria from that part of the country, adding that he was optimistic of the positive impact the malaria control programme would make as deaths from malaria were avoidable.
“We want this facility to help eradicate malaria, not just in Ghana but the whole of West Africa, if not the entire continent,” Dr Bawumia stated.
Recalling the longstanding relations between the two countries, which began in 1959, Vice President Bawumia expressed Ghana’s appreciation of Cuba’s support for various sectors of Ghanaian society, including the Medical Brigade Assistance Programme, which has Cuban doctors and other health personnel working in very remote areas in Ghana.
He also mentioned the training of 3,000 Ghanaian students in Cuba, many of whom have since been contributing their quota to national development.
The Vice President, who is also Head of Ghana’s Economic Management team, welcomed the interest expressed by the Cuban business community in adding value to Ghana’s cocoa.
Mrs Mercedes Lopez Acea commended Ghana’s leading role in ensuring peace and stability in the West Africa sub-region and urged officials of the two countries to expand and deepen areas of co-operation for mutual benefit.
“We are proud that we have trained over three thousand Ghanaian students, who are now playing key roles in Ghana’s development. We are also very proud of the achievements of the Cuban Medical Brigade, some of who have been in Ghana for over 15 years. I believe we can explore other areas of mutual benefit,” Mrs Lopez Acea said.