Cote d'Ivoire: 'Massive sensitisation necessary ahead of malaria elimination campaign'

Abuja, Nigeria (PANA) - A meeting preparatory to the application of biolarvicides under the ECOWAS Malaria Elimination Campaign has ended in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire, with a call for the organisation of national conferences to harmonise and deepen public knowledge before the commencement of the application by the next ECOWAS Day on 28 May 2014.

The meeting, the first in a series of region-wide national sensitisation sessions, also called for a road map for the mobilisation of national armed forces and the establishment of a network of regional parliamentarians behind the campaign.

In their six-point resolution, the participants also recommended effective sensitisation campaign for attitudinal change and the collaboration of religious and traditional leaders, the media and the private sector in support of the anti-malaria campaign.

They also called for the strengthening of integrated war against malaria through the prevention, treatment and health promotion strategies, with the active support and participation of citizens, communities as well as national and regional stakeholders.

Malaria is a serious public and development problem in Africa and the ECOWAS campaign, involves the construction of three factories in Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana and Nigeria for the production of biolarvicdes, a substance which is safe to human health and the environment but kills malaria-bearing mosquitoes at their larvae development stage.

The ECOWAS Commission said in a statement issued here that Cuba and Venezuela are supporting the region under a tripartite agreement to build the three biolarvicide factories to ensure sufficient availability of the substance for the regional application.

The ECOWAS campaign, which is anchored on the strengthening of the vector control strategy, also involves sensitisation of communities to keep their environment clean, get rid of mosquito breeding sites and the involvement of the armed forces in the region-wide application of biolarvicides to make the region malaria free.

The same strategy has been used successfully in South America and, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), vector control is the only intervention which can reduce malaria transmission from high to zero level.

The Abidjan meeting was attended by ECOWAS and member states’ officials, financial, health and environment experts, armed forces of member states, parliamentarians, religious and community leaders, as well as development partners among other stakeholders.
-0- PANA SEG 4April2014

04 avril 2014 08:48:09

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