Over 70 percent of Sub-Saharan African businesses are negatively affected by malaria, while nearly 40 percent reported a serious impact, a new study released on Thursday stated.
The report, entitled Business and Malaria: A Neglected Threat, was released by the Global Health Initiative of the World Economic Forum. Over 8,000 business leaders worldwide across 100 countries were surveyed for the report.
The results showed that the threat malaria posed on the global economy was not something to be taken lightly. The disease currently costs Sub-Saharan Africa 0.6 percent of its GDP. A single episode of malaria costs businesses up to ten lost working days in terms of labor.
Malaria is crippling the people of Africa, and the businesses that employ them. These guidelines provide concrete tools for empowering businesses to form an effective response against this treatable, preventable disease, said David Kim, head of the Africa and Malaria program for the World Economic Forum.
The report stated that 72 percent of African firms believe that malaria eradication would increase efficiency and productivity. If properly implemented, the guidelines could assist in helping businesses to implement malaria control activities.
â€œOver 80 percent of the malaria incidences and burdens are taking place in sub-Saharan Africa. And, by far, the burden in terms of death and morbidity is taking place in Africa. Currently, the estimates are that every 30 seconds an African baby is dying of malaria,â€ Kim said.
Some of the hardest hit countries include Angola, Gambia, Malawi, Mozambique and Zambia, each of which has over 5,000 malaria cases per 100,000 people per year. At least eight of every ten firms reported impacts on their business, stated the report.
African governments are currently implementing malaria control efforts. However, many governments still lack the necessary resources for prevention and treatment which is creating a need for involvement from the private sector.