Abuja - Economic Community for West African States (ECOWAS) officials and health experts from within and outside the region are meeting in Abuja to develop a plan to eradicate malaria through the strengthening of the vector control strategy.
The meeting seeks to generate ideas and strategies for effective community mobilisation and buy-in to make enhance the success of the regional anti-malaria campaign.
ECOWAS Commission’s executive secretary, Urias Harrington, gave an update on the Commission’s collaboration with Cuba and Venezuela to scale up malaria elimination interventions in West Africa, noting that some progress had been achieved.
He alluded to the groundbreaking ceremonies for the construction of three biolarvicides factories in Ivory Coast, Ghana and Nigeria.
Harrington said the level of progress informed the need for the development of an action plan to effectively mobilise ECOWAS communities towards the preparation for the mass application of biolarvicides, the safe substance that kills mosquitoes, the malaria vectors in their larvae development stage.
Studies by the World Health Organization (WHO) have shown that vector control is the only intervention that can reduce malaria transmission from high to zero level.
Harrington explained that the vector control strategy would complement other anti-malaria interventions towards making ECOWAS a malaria-free region.
Health advisor to the president of the ECOWAS Commission, Mariane Ngoulla, underscored the importance of community mobilization to the elimination campaign.
"Malaria knows no boundaries and cannot therefore be dealt with as a country specific problem," she added.
Participants at the Abuja meeting include representatives of ECOWAS member states, partners from Cuba and Venezuela, as well as civil society organisations and other stakeholders.
– CAJ News