On September 11, 2010, Archer Daniels Midland Company (ADM) launches its first Malaria Awareness Day in Kumasi, the heart of Ghana’s cocoa growing area. This awareness day seeks to further sensitise the local community about the endemic, as well as to provide education on other infectious diseases such as HIV/AIDS, hepatitis B and tuberculosis. Malaria has long been the leading cause of child mortality in Sub-Sahara Africa with 3,900 Ghanaians dying from the disease last year, 1,500 were children under the age of five.*
ADM’s Malaria Awareness Day is one part of a larger workplace health programme, developed by ADM in partnership with the International sustainable development organisation Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit (GTZ). This programme aims to meaningfully reduce the incidence of malaria, HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and other infectious diseases. Through the programme, communities are taught disease prevention in educational seminars and are given medical screening tests.
Pieter Frieling, general manager, ADM Ghana, says: “We established the workplace health programme for our employees and their families to help improve access to information and testing on preventable diseases and, for those already affected, to offer treatment and support.”
Throughout the day, ADM employees will help set up a medical tent and encourage those in neighbouring villages to come for testing, while at the same time help with a clean-up program in surrounding communities. GTZ will provide medical assistance and support with qualified nurses and doctors available to conduct blood tests and give health advice to participants. A mosquito treated net, essential in the fight against malaria, will be given to every person attending the Awareness Day.
Frieling continues “Malaria continues to have devastating consequences throughout Ghana. It only takes one bite to be infected yet there are many measures that can easily be put in place to protect against this disease. Through our efforts, we hope to educate people on some of these methods to fight its spread.”
ADM’s workplace health programme was established in 2009 after operations began in the company’s new cocoa processing facility in Kumasi. ADM saw an opportunity to address pressing health concerns by establishing a programme for local employees and their families. ADM is now expanding the programme to neighbouring cocoa growing areas.