ECOWAS signs malaria elimination pact with Nigerian state

Abuja, Nigeria (PANA) - ECOWAS and Nigeria’s oil-rich Rivers State have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for the construction of a factory to produce anti-mosquito larvae biolarvicides, under the ECOWAS Malaria Elimination Campaign.

Biolarvicides are safe substances sprayed to destroy mosquitoes in the larvae stage of their development.

The ECOWAS Commission said Wednesday the agreement, signed in Nigeria's capital, Abuja, Tuesday, is a follow up to the Tripartite accord which ECOWAS signed in 2009 with Cuba and Venezuela, for the setting up of three biolarvicide factories in three ECOWAS member States – Cote d’Ivoire, Nigeria and Ghana – for the supply of the product across the region as a means of strengthening the vector control strategy for malaria elimination.

The foundation stone laying ceremonies for the factories have taken place in Yamoussoukro (Cote d'Ivoire) and Port Harcourt (Nigeria), with that of Ghana expected in August 2013.

Malaria costs Africa more than US$12 billion annually, in addition to hundreds of thousands of deaths, especially children under five and pregnant women, with West Africa bearing a disproportionate level of the burden.

In line with the World Health Organization’s position that vector control is the only intervention capable of reducing malaria transmission from the highest level to zero, African leaders in their just-concluded Special Summit on HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria in Abuja, resolved to “intensify the use of Larval Source Management (LSM) where suitable for the control and elimination of malaria.”

Initialing the MOU on behalf of the President of the ECOWAS Commission, Vice President Toga Gayewea McIntosh reaffirmed the organisation’s total commitment to the elimination of malaria scourge in the region.

“We still have a long way to go, but we are gradually moving on the right path,” he said, adding: “We wish to reassure the Government and people of Rivers State that we will do all within our power to ensure the successful implementation of this project.”

Speaking in the same vein, Rivers State Commissioner for Health Sampson Parker, who signed on behalf of the state Governor, said the MOU and other efforts by ECOWAS were bold statements by the region of its determination to ensure malaria elimination.
-0- PANA SEG 17July2013

17 july 2013 12:36:11

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