Ghana Malaria Action Alert, June 2012
The Ghana Malaria Action Alert is is produced regularly by the National Malaria Control Program (NMCP), Ghana Health Service, and Voices. This issue highlights the role of private first-line buyers in making lifesaving artemisinin-based combination therapies (ACTs) affordable and accessible to Ghanaian populations through the Affordable Medicine Facility-malaria (AMFm) initiative financed by the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.
Whether or not the Global Fund decides to extend AMFm past November, Ghanaians rely on ACTs to quickly and effectively treat malaria. This Action Alert offers concrete steps for public sector leaders to take to extend these benefits to at-risk populations.
1. Government should initiate efforts to explore alternative funding sources to subsidize ACTs and malaria medicines at large. This may include a transfer of resources from other sectors, such as oil, mining, telecoms or tourism, through a "malaria tax." Public lotteries should also be considered.
2. Waiving taxes on ACT imports could bolster the efforts of local manufacturers to respond appropriately to the malaria medication needs of the population.
3. Government should ensure that only quality ACTs are distributed in the country to reduce the risk of resistance and save Ghanaian lives. The Food and Drugs Board, Security Agencies and Research Institutions should lead these efforts.