Mining company AngloGold Ashanti partnered with the Ghanaian Ministry of Health in 2006 to create a comprehensive public/private antimalarial programme in the Obuasi region to address a significant number of malaria cases within their workforce. In 2005, the AngloGold Ashanti mine was losing around 30% of their workforce shifts per month due to malaria and malarial illnesses, which caused significant productivity and operating costs. The company decided to partner with the local government to protect local communities — including AngloGold Ashanti’s workforce — from malaria.
The programme — known as the ‘Obuasi model’ — provides both prevention and treatment. Under the programme, the spraying of mines (and associated buildings), homes and local communities with anti-malarial chemicals and pesticides reduces the number of mosquitos — the key carrier of malaria. The programme also provides testing for workers and their communities, as well as facilities and medication for treatment and recovery of affected people.
It was reported that by 2012 the prevalence of malaria in the Obuasi mine area had fallen 75%, with malaria cases throughout the country dropping. The model has since expanded to cover further regions in Ghana, where malaria rates are also now falling, although it is no longer run by AngloGold and is wholly owned by the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.