ABUJA – ECOWAS on Wednesday reaffirmed its determination and commitment to the fight against malaria in its member states.
ECOWAS Commissioner for Macro-economic Policy, Dr Ibrahim Ba, made the statement on behalf of ECOWAS President, Mr Kadré Ouédraogo, at a sensitisation meeting in Abidjan on March 31.
This is contained in a statement by the commission’s Acting Director of Communication in Abuja, Mr Sunny Ugoh, on Wednesday.
“Under the first phase of preparations for the planned region-wide application of biolarvicides, the ECOWAS commission had launched a regional sensitisation.
The statement said it was for the elimination of malaria in the region, using the vector control strategy.
It said that the application of biolarvicides, the substance that kills malaria-bearing mosquitoes at their larvae development stage, would begin in 2014.
The statement said that the application would start on May 28, to mark the ECOWAS Day, in recognition of its vision 2020 for a citizen-driven community.
“The objective is to pool resources and join forces in the war against Malaria, a war which we can and must win for the benefit of community citizens and future generations.”
The statement said that Ba commended ECOWAS’ development partners particularly Cuba and Venezuela, which under a Tripartite Agreement were providing the financial support.
The development partners were also providing technical know-how for the construction of three biolarvicide factories in the region, it said.
The statement said that the factories would be constructed in Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana and Nigeria for the region-wide spraying campaign.
It would also ensure large scale availability of the product, safe for human health and the environment, the statement added.
A report released at the annual meeting of the African Union and Ministers of Economy and Finance said mortality rate from malaria fell by more than 25 per cent globally.
The 7th Joint Annual Meeting of the ECOWAS Conference of Ministers of Finance held from March 24 to 29.
It said that more than one million deaths from malaria were averted over the last decade.
It also said that child mortality rate had dropped by 47 per cent since 1990, with 17,000 fewer children dying each day.
In spite of the achievements, it said malaria still remained the leading cause of morbidity and mortality among under-five, more than 16 times the average for developed regions. (NAN)