Nigeria: Military shows leadership in ECOWAS anti-Malaria war

Lagos, Nigeria (PANA) - Military personnel from Ghana and Togo recently carried out an environmental sanitation exercise at the border town of Aflao marking the official launch by ECOWAS of the preparatory phase of the application of the anti-mosquito biolarvicide product to intensify the regional war against malaria.

ECOWAS Commission President Kadré Desire Ouédraogo, represented by Health Adviser/Coordinator ECOWAS Malaria Elimination Campaign, Dr. Mariane Ngoulla, said at the launch that community citizens must keep their surroundings clean for the application of biolarvicide to be effective and successful.  

He expressed the Commission’s gratitude to the Armed Forces for their willingness and commitment to facilitate the military-civilian collaboration required to win the war against mosquitoes and malaria in the region.

The President also commended the military for “working in synergy with malaria programme managers and communities through a multisectoral approach for massive and effective biolarvicide application accompanied with sanitation and environment management.”

At the Aflao ceremony held as part of the ECOWAS 39th Anniversary activities, the military personnel from the two member states undertook the environmental cleaning exercise to underscore the need for “military-like discipline” as a critical element in achieving sustainable victory in the fight against malaria.

Ghana’s Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration Kwesi Quartey commended the ECOWAS President and his management team for their total commitment to the campaign to rid the region of the human and economic devastation of malaria.

The Minister also thanked Cuba and Venezuela for their support under a tripartite agreement to build three biolarvicide factories in Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana and Port-Harcourt, Nigeria, to ensure uninterrupted availability of the product for massive application across the region towards the elimination of malaria from the ECOWAS region.

He called for concerted efforts by stakeholders "to ensure that the borderless ECOWAS envisioned by the founding fathers is not derailed."

For his part, Togo’s Health Minister, represented by the Secretary General in the Ministry, Mr. Gado Koura, reiterated the government’s commitment and support to the regional anti-malaria campaign, while the country’s Chief of Defence Staff, Col. Felix Kadanga, who was represented by Col. Sogne Batenga, affirmed the total support of the military to the success of the campaign.

The Chief of Staff noted that the United States and other countries had used a similar strategy to rid their territories of mosquitoes and malaria.

In his remarks, the Director General of the West African Health Organization (WAHO), Mr. Xavier Crespin, expressed optimism that the application of biolarvicide, which is safe to human health and the environment, will contribute to the attainment of the organisation’s objective of providing good health to Community citizens through effective cooperation between Member States and development partners.

The ceremony was attended by military personnel, Managers of National Malaria Control Programmes of member states, representatives of civil society organisations as well as community and traditional leaders, among others,

Also in attendance were representatives of the 15 ECOWAS member states, Focal Points of Ministries of Defence, representatives of Network of West African Women Farmers, ROPPA, the Municipal Chief Executive of Ketu South, Ghana, the Paramount Chief of Aflao District and representatives of Aflao Police authority.
-0- PANA SEG 31May2014

31 may 2014 14:34:48




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