Thu, April 26, 2012
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ECOWAS signs malaria elimination agreement with Cuba

2012-04-26 10:16:31 GMT2012-04-26 18:16:31(Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

ABUJA, April 26 (Xinhua) -- The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and Cuba have agreed on new measures to revive their collaboration towards the elimination of malaria in West Africa by 2015 through a control and elimination program, a statement by the regional bloc said Thursday.

The measures, according to the statement, are contained in a framework agreement signed at the end of the second visit of a high-level ministerial delegation led by Vice-president of the ECOWAS Commission Toga Mcintosh in which both parties reiterated the viability of their mutual objective of achieving the eventual elimination of malaria by that date. The delegation included the health ministers of Cote d'Ivoire, Ghana and Nigeria.

"The collaboration is anchored on the elimination of mosquito larvae through the spraying of biolarvicides on their habitats, a product of LABIOFAM S.A. of Cuba," the statement said.

The regional bloc explained that Cuba agreed to continue to engage bilaterally with member states, particularly Ghana, Nigeria and Burkina Faso where pilot implementation has already started for the malaria elimination program leveraging on the multilateral platform created by the ECOWAS Commission and the Caribbean country for its successful implementation.

"Both parties agreed to develop a plan to import the product from Cuba for use in these three countries during the first phase prior to roll out in other member states followed by local production in Ghana and Nigeria by the middle of 2014 and then Cote d'Ivoire between 2015 and 2016," the statement added.

It said the agreement also calls for the development of a joint plan of action for a two-phased training of local personnel in West Africa on the effective application of biolarvicides.

"The first phase will focus on members of the armed forces followed by the training of community citizens, private sector operators, vector control specialists and entomologists," it explained.

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