- Category: Latest
- Published on Monday, 06 August 2012 13:17
- Written by Elombah.com
ECOWAS has made the elimination of malaria in West Africa by 2015 a major priority using an integrated strategy that involves strengthening of the vector control (biolarviciding) intervention component, the ECOWAS Commissioner for Administration and Finance, Mrs. Khadi Saccoh has affirmed.
Opening a Town Hall meeting on Thursday 2nd August 2012 at the ECOWAS Commission on behalf of President of the Commission, Ambassador Kadre Desire Ouedraogo, the Commissioner, said the benefits of malaria elimination would be tremendous in the region which bears the heaviest burden of the scourge.
These include reduction of the high rate of mortality and morbidity, as well as high cost of hospitalization and treatment, which would lead to increased productivity by workers.
The ECOWAS Malaria Elimination Campaign is being vigorously pursued through the implementation of a Tripartite Agreement with Cuba and Venezuela, to ensure adequate availability of biolarvicides, especially through technology transfer for local production, as well as resource mobilization and sustainable community buy in for better all-round outcome.
Commissioner Saccoh assured that ECOWAS would do all that is necessary to mobilize all stakeholders for the success of the elimination campaign.
Expressing a similar sentiment, the moderator of the Town Hall meeting, Mrs. Chioma Amajoh, Director of National Malaria Control Programme in Nigeria’s Ministry of Health insists that “it is feasible to eliminate malaria, and as a multi-sectorial and cross-border task, the community and other stakeholders must play their parts.”
Mrs. Amajoh, who has been nicknamed “Mama Malaria” because of her sustained anti-malarial efforts, said ECOWAS deserves commendation for driving this project, noting that recently, the Commission’s Vice-President Dr. Toga McIntosh, led a high-level delegation that included Health Ministers of Nigeria, Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire on a visit to Cuba and Venezuela, within the context of actualization of the Tripartite Agreement.
Officials of Cuba’s Labiofam, which is piloting the biolarvicide production and application in Rivers State, Nigeria, Ghana and Burkina Faso, made a brief presentation on the company’s experiences, while a Rivers State government representative also shared the State’s experience with the Town Hall gathering.
Dr. Mariane Ngoulla, Special Health Adviser to the President of the ECOWAS Commission, gave a lucid background to the launch of the ECOWAS Malaria Elimination Campaign in 2009, followed by the formation of a multi-sectoral Task Force domiciled in the Office of the Commission’s President.
She also traced the history of global and continental interventions, noting that given the successful experience in other parts of the world, “it is possible to eliminate malaria in the ECOWAS region, by deploying all the arsenals including vector control.”
“Together, this is a war we can win and we must win and we will win,” Dr. Ngoulla added.
The Town Hall meeting capped three days of deliberation by health experts tasked to produce a road-map that will feed into a high-level regional Ministerial meeting in December 2012 on how to move the ECOWAS Malaria Elimination Campaign forward.
The Town Hall event also featured a dance drama, illustrating the human and socio-economic devastation of malaria, and how community participation and ownership of larviciding can make the region malaria free.