MTN, Standard Bank, Nando’s call on businesses across Africa to join fight against malaria

The important role of African private sector donors to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria has been highlighted at the Champions of Global Health event, hosted at the United Nations in New York by the Global Fund on Thursday.

Leading corporate partners of the United against Malaria (UAM) campaign were recognized as being among the first African private sector representatives to contribute funds to the Global Fund’s malaria projects across Africa.

UAM is a partnership of football teams, corporations, celebrities, health and advocacy organizations, governments and individuals who came together ahead of the FIFA 2010 World Cup to leverage the power of football to win the fight against malaria, a preventable disease which by the end of last year and despite great progress, was still killing a child in Africa every 45 seconds.

A statement from UAM received in Accra on Thursday said the funds raised during its FIFA 2010 World Cup campaign represented an example of how public-private partnerships could contribute to reaching the Millennium Development Goal of reducing malaria deaths to near zero by 2015.

Malaria inflicts a heavy toll on Africa with the Global Malaria Action Plan estimating that malaria-associated expenses cost the African economy an estimated $30 billion every year.

Leading the way to help turn the tide against this disease are three of Africa’s top companies, MTN, Nando’s and Standard Bank, the statement said.

It said with operations across Africa, MTN, a multinational telecommunications group, Standard Bank, Africa’s largest financial institution, and Nando’s, with restaurants in eight of Africa’s malaria endemic countries, had used their extensive reach across Africa to drive positive action against the disease.

“Using the momentum achieved during this year’s 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa campaign, we are committed to continuing our close cooperation with the United Against Malaria partnership across Africa’s malaria endemic countries,” said Nozipho January-Bardill, MTN Group.

“We will also continue utilizing our technology and communication platforms to educate communities about malaria. Furthermore,  we remain keen to support vital fund raising initiatives aimed at combating and finally eradicating the epidemic in Africa”, he added.

The statement said supported by a number of other African corporations, MTN, Nando’s and Standard Bank had demonstrated their commitment to United Against Malaria through two leading initiatives which had helped raise much needed funds.

Initiated by Nando’s and with the support of Anglo American, DeBeers, FedEx, MTN, Standard Bank, SuperSport, the Relate Trust, Vestergaard Frandsen, and the Global Fund to Fight Aids, TB and Malaria, the malaria bracelet programme has been developed to raise awareness and money for the fight against malaria.

The United Against Malaria partnership is committed to pursuing its objectives by focusing on malaria endemic countries to strengthen commitments by African leadership, encourage public-private collaboration and use football as a vehicle in driving behavioural change to prioritize malaria and help to turn the tide on malaria across the continent.

Source: GNA

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