Cote d'Ivoire: ECOWAS boosts malaria elimination campaign

Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire (PANA) - The ECOWAS Commission has launched a regional sensitisation efforts on the planned region-wide application of biolarvicides for malaria elimination in the region, using the vector control strategy.

According to the Commission, the campaign was flagged off in Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire, Monday.

Commissioner for Macro-economic Policy Ibrahim Bocar Ba, who stood in for the Commission's President at the launch, said the application of biolarvicides, the substance that kills malaria-bearing mosquitoes at their larvae development stage, would commence this year on ECOWAS Day, celebrated on 28 of May, in recognition of the ECOWAS vision 2020 for a citizen driven community.

At the heart of the pre-application sensitisation across the 15 ECOWAS member states, he said, is the effective community sensitisation, mobilisation and participation coupled with the strong involvement of the armed forces of member states.

“The objective is to pool resources and join forces in the war against Malaria, a war which we can and must win for the benefit of community citizens and future generations,” the Commissioner told the gathering of ECOWAS and member states’ officials, financial, health and environment experts, armed forces of member states, parliamentarians, religious and community leaders, development partners and other stakeholders.

He commended ECOWAS’ development partners, particularly Cuba and Venezuela, which under a Tripartite Agreement are providing the financial support and technical know-how for the construction of three biolarvicide factories in the region.

The factories, which are to be set up in Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana and Nigeria for the region-wide spraying campaign, will ensure the large scale availability of the product which is safe for human health and the environment.

Ba reaffirmed the determination and commitment of ECOWAS and its member states to make the region Malaria-free, in line with the directive by regional leaders on the campaign, which received a major boost at the just-ended Ministerial Mediation and Security Council Meeting in Yamoussoukro, which endorsed the strong participation of national armed forces in the anti-Malaria war.

For her part, Madam Aminata Ouattara-Coulibaly, who represented Cote d’Ivoire’s Minister for African Integration and Ivorians in the Diaspora, highlighted the importance of the sensitisation meeting, coming on the heels of the just-concluded ECOWAS Summit that approved the report of the Mediation and Security Council which, among others, recommended the involvement of the military in the Malaria elimination campaign.

She outlined the humanitarian devastation caused by malaria and the socio-economic losses not just to the region but the whole of Africa, saying this makes waging and winning the war against the scourge imperative.

Madam Coulibaly then reiterated the commitment of the Government of Cote d’Ivoire to winning the war and called for all hands to be on deck for the success of the campaign.

Welcoming participants to the meeting, ECOWAS Health Adviser Mariane Ngoulla, who is also the focal person for the campaign, explained that the sensitisation exercise is designed to engender mobilisation of efforts and resources, and also enlist strong community participation for a successful region-wide Malaria elimination drive.

Malaria has killed and continues to kill more people than all armed conflicts combined in Africa, with children under five years and pregnant women mostly at risk.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has concluded that vector control is the only intervention capable of reducing malaria transmission from high to zero level.
-0- PANA SEG 1April2014

01 april 2014 15:54:33

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