Ghana has 600,000 hang ups thanks to Coca-Cola
"The long lasting insecticide-treated nets (LLITN) are very good. I say this as the nets have saved my children, my wife and I from the frequent visits to the hospital and a lot of money that we used to spend on medicine. I had seen one or two people in the community who slept under the bed nets but I did not bother to find out why they used them… After hearing about the importance of the LLITNs it touched my heart… In June, the ADDRO (Anglican Diocesan Development and Relief Organization) people came again, this time with some free nets and I was given two as I have children under five in my household. The children started sleeping under the bed nets… My wife and I have now come to the realization that the children are no longer falling sick like they used to before." (Male beneficiary in Western Region.)
Earlier this year The Coca-Cola Africa Foundation (TCCAF) and NetsForLife® partnered with the Ghana Health Service, USAID and UNICEF in an ambitious project to distribute and hang up one million long lasting insecticide-treated nets (LLITN) in Ghana.
Phase one of the project, which ran from 3 to 11 May, saw the team hand out and hang up over 628,000 nets in the Northern Region of the country. In a mere seven days nets were distributed in 5,700 communities and all the individual homes therein.
A vital need
Malaria, a disease which is both preventable and curable, is ravaging the African continent and the statistics are frightening - malaria kills nearly one million people every year (mostly children under the age of five).
"In turn this has a negative impact on the communities where we do business and a negative impact on the economy of Africa," says William Asiko, President of the Coca-Cola Africa Foundation and Group PAC Director.
NetsforLife® is a collaborative partnership of The Coca-Cola Africa Foundation (TCCAF), ExxonMobil Foundation, Standard Chartered Bank, Starr International Foundation and White Flowers Foundation, and NGO partners Episcopal Relief & Development and Christian Aid. The organization implements integrated malaria prevention through a network of local faith-based organizations and NGOs. NetsforLife® empowers communities to eliminate malaria by providing free, life-saving prevention training and LLITN.
Phase two of the Ghanaian project aims to hang up a further 400,000 nets in the Eastern Region of the country.
"This partnership is having a real impact on communities across Africa. It is saving the lives of children and mothers and is therefore a true testament to our Live For a Difference commitment to respond to the needs of the communities where we do business," says William.
An award-winning programme
The Coca-Cola Africa Foundation's work with NetsforLife® received the Global Business Coalition Excellence in Business Action Award for outstanding Partnership and Collective Action earlier this year.
The Global Business Coalition was established in 2001, when Kofi Annan, then Secretary-General of the United Nations, called for more business involvement in fighting AIDS. Today, the coalition's 200-plus corporate members engage with a network of governmental and civil society partners to assist in the fight against HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria.
"TCCAF partners with NetsforLife® as they were not just a malaria net distribution system but rather a comprehensive malaria control program," says William Asiko, President of The Coca-Cola Africa Foundation. "Because the program involves training and coaching on how to use the nets, on the link between mosquitoes and the disease itself and on ensuring that the clinics have the right drugs to treat those who are infected, the program is able to deliver something very sustainable. Sustainability of programs is key for us as a Company."