(L-R) Director General of Health Services, Dr Henry Mwebesa, Ecobank Managing Director, Grace Muliisa, Malaria Free Uganda Board Chairman, Mr Ken Mugisha, Health Minister, Dr Jane Ruth Aceng, Coordinator of the Funs Coordination Unit of the Global Fund grants in Uganda, Mr Johnson Mutesigensi and Businessman Mr Patrick Bitature at the event.
The Malaria Free Uganda private sector initiative recently boosted the government’s fight against malaria with a donation of UGX 80 million (approximately USD 21 000) to the Ministry of Health. A bulk of these funds were raised during the “Malaria Family Carnival” held in conjunction with Rotary Club last December. Ecobank matched the kitty with an additional donation from its Zero Malaria Business Leadership (ZMBLI) bringing the total contribution so far to UGX 160 million (approximately USD 43 000).
Speaking at the event, Health Minister, Dr. Jane Ruth Acenga said the partnership between Ecobank Uganda and Malaria Free Uganda is an important step in the fight against malaria. “By working together, these organizations can make a real difference in the lives of Ugandans and help to build a healthier and more prosperous future for our country,” she added.
On her part, the Managing Director of Ecobank Uganda Grace Muliisa reiterated the bank’s commitment to the wellbeing of Ugandans. ‘Malaria remains a major health challenge for Uganda and many African countries. At Ecobank, we believe that it is our responsibility to support initiatives that promote health and well-being in the communities where we operate. This is underpinned by the Health pilar of our Ecobank Foundation and we are proud to be part of the distinguished Malaria Free Uganda that is working to help combat this preventable disease,” she said.
“We are grateful to all the individuals and partners that have contributed to this fund. We understand that for children and those in need, the difference between life and death can be as little as one dollar. It is therefore our responsibility as the private sector to support the government to protect the lives of Ugandans,” said Mr. Ken Mugisha, the Board chair of Malaria Free Uganda.
“The number of man hours or even worse lives lost due to this scourge has a huge impact on the economy and is costly to both companies and individuals especially when you consider the medical costs associated with the treatment of the disease. Malaria Free Uganda is committed to ending malaria within a generation. We believe that by working together with partners like Ecobank Uganda, we can achieve this goal and create a future where no one dies from such a preventable disease,” Mr. Mugisha added.
The event was attended by a range of officials including among others, the Coordinator of the Funds Coordination Unit of the Global Fund Grants in Uganda, Johnson Mutesigensi, and the Director General of Health Services, Dr. Henry Mwebesa.
Malaria Free Uganda (MFU) is a board of top business leaders of various organizations operating in Uganda. It also supports the government in testing, treatment, and vector control. The board was established [year] to mobilize resources from the private sector for the fight against malaria. Uganda shoulders one of the highest burdens of malaria worldwide with the eighth-highest number of deaths and third-highest number of deaths in the world. According to the World Health Organisation, approximately 20,000 people in Uganda die from the disease each year. Despite efforts to combat malaria, the disease continues to pose a significant threat to the health and well-being of many Ugandans.