ECOWAS and the Republic of Cuba have agreed new measures to revive their collaboration towards the elimination of malaria in West Africa by 2015 through a control and elimination programme.
The measures were contained in a framework agreement signed at the end of the second visit of a high-level ministerial delegation led by the Vice President of the ECOWAS Commission, Dr 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. Under the agreement, 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 programme leveraging on the multilateral platform created by the ECOWAS Commission and Cuba for the successful implementation of this programme.
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 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.
Modalities for Technology Transfer, Technical Service arrangements, capacity building, Patenting and licensing are also expected to be concluded by the end of December 2012 under the agreement.