A project of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health's Center for Communication Programs.


With increasing political stability and a growing economy, Ghana is gaining recognition as an emerging leader in sub-Saharan Africa. In the past decade, the country has pursued an aggressive poverty reduction and growth program to improve macroeconomic stability, private sector competitiveness, human resource development, good governance and civil responsibility. Higher prices for oil, gold and cocoa have also bostered growth. Despite progress, preventable diseases, especially malaria, remaing a major challenge to the country's development. 

Since 2006, Ghana's NMCP and other malaria stakeholders have made steady progress in reducting malaria incidence from 8.3 million cases in 2006 to 3.2 million cases in 2008. Net ownership has increased from 5% of households in 2003 to 51% in 2011, according to the Ghana Multiple Cluster Indicator Survey. The NMCP reports that in a nation of 24.6 million people, 12.4 million LLINs have been distributed in a mass distribution and hang-up campaign that began in 2010. Through AMFm, effective treatment is more affordable and accessible; at health facilities, coverage of ACTs jumped from 12% in 2006 to 80% in 2012, and among community health workers and nurses, it jumped to 65%. For pregnant women, IPT coverage has increased from 44% in 2008 to 67% in 2011. New national guidelines for diagnostics have increased microscopy use to 50% from 2010 and RDT use to 40%. To sustain this progress, the replenishment and use of nets and other commodities is essential. 

It is within this context that UAM has harnessed the popularity of football and a beloved national team, the Black Stars, to rally government, private sector decision-makers and the media to the fight against malaria. As a common course has emerged, campaign partners have taken ownership of malaria control activities throughout the country and bolstered support for crucial interventions led by the NMCP. 

UAM private sector partners in Ghana

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UAM looking forward

UAM is poised to broker relationships among partners requiring technical support to implement malaria control programs. By adopting UAM’s Malaria Safe strategies and participating in public outreach activities, private sector partners can reduce healthcare expenses and malaria-related absences, increase productivity, and gain goodwill in the community as they protect employees and their families.

Ghana’s rise in football will continue to be an important channel for promoting malaria control. The World Cup in 2010 and the Africa Cup of Nations in 2012 and 2013 provided unprecedented visibility for UAM, as will the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. On-the-ground partners will continue to integrate UAM activities into national, regional, district and community level malaria advocacy programs and strive to improve private sector support for malaria control activities through the Malaria Safe program.