allAfrica.com: ECOWAS Rallies Support for Its Malaria Elimination CampaignPosted: August 2, 2012
West Africa has the heaviest malaria burden on the continent, where a child dies every 30 seconds from malaria, which a principal cause of morbidity and mortality among children and pregnant women. The President insisted that the goal of malaria elimination in the ECOWAS region is achievable, through the strengthening of the vector control component (biolarviciding) of an integrated strategy under a Tripartite Agreement between Cuba, Venezuela and the Commission. Implementation of the agreement emphasizes technology transfer, technical and financial support from Cuba and Venezuela to set up factories in West African countries (River States, Nigeria, Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire), for the production of biolarvicide by Cuba’s Labiofam for large scale use for the region’s malaria elimination campaign.
In her presentation, Dr. Uche Amazigo, a former Director of the World Health Organization (WHO) African Programme for Onchocerciasis (River Blindness) Control (APOC), shared the experiences of the defunct Onchocerciasis Control Programme (OCP) in West Africa, which used larviciding to successfully control the blinding disease in 11 West African countries between 1974 and 2002. In addition to leveraging the OCP larviciding experience, Dr. Amazigo, a renowned researcher and public health expert also noted that APOC’s trademark Community-Directed Intervention (CDI) strategy, which promotes community ownership and participation in public health care delivery would be very useful to the ECOWAS Malaria Elimination Campaign.