5 August 2013

ECOWAS Malaria Elimination Campaign moves to Ghana

Big ceremony in Accra to grace factory construction

The regional war against malaria being waged by ECOWAS and partners through the biolarvicide programme moves to Ghana this week with a grand ground-breaking ceremony on Tuesday 6th 2013 for the construction of a factory in Accra, the nation’s capital for the production of the substance.

The programme, which is being held within the framework of the Campaign for the Elimination of Malaria in West Africa by 2015, will bring together health experts from within and outside the ECOWAS region. The President of Republic of Ghana, the country’s Health Minister as well as the President of the ECOWAS Commission and the Vice-President are among important dignitaries expected to grace the event.

The Accra factory is one of the three being constructed in the region under a tripartite agreement involving ECOWAS, Cuba and Venezuela. Similar ground breaking ceremonies for the other two have been held in Cote d’Ivoire and Port
Harcourt, Nigeria. The regional campaign seeks to free the region from the malaria scourge that kills thousands of people in Africa a year and costs the continent more than US$12 billion annually.

Under the regional campaign focused on the strengthening of the vector control component, recognized internationally as the only intervention that can reduce malaria transmission from high level to zero, Cuba and Venezuela are providing the financial support, technical know-how and technology transfer to make readily available in the region, biolarvicide, the substance that destroys mosquitoes, the malaria vectors in their larvae stage of development.

This is with the purpose of bolstering the elimination campaign through massive larviciding/spraining across the region. Similar campaigns have yielded resounding successes in Latin America and other parts of the world.

The Accra ground breaking event will be preceded by a tripartite experts working group meeting by ECOWAS, Cuba and Venezuela on Monday, also in the Ghanaian capital.

Participants will discuss among others, the feasibility study, cost build up and investment architecture of the project as well as the forthcoming 4th High-Level partners meeting in Venezuela.

Malaria is not only a major public health problem in Africa, with West Africa bearing the heaviest burden; it also stunts the economic development of the region and the continent as a whole.

Source: ECOWAS, press release, 2013-08-05.

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