ECOWAS [Economic Community of West African States] and Venezuela have agreed to take measures to execute their 2009 memorandum of understanding (MOU) towards the elimination of malaria in West Africa.
Under the MOU, which was signed during the first high-level ministerial visit to Venezuela, the country agreed to provide 20 million US dollars to support an ECOWAS vector control programme of malaria elimination through biolarvidicing. Biolarvicides are sprayed on the habitats of mosquitoes to eliminate their larvae, one of the stages in the evolution of mosquitoes.
The deal was reached during the just-concluded second high-level ministerial visit comprising the health ministers of Cote d'Ivoire, Ghana and Nigeria led by ECOWAS Vice President, Dr Toga Mcintosh. It was agreed that this be renegotiated and approved by a high-level ministerial meeting to be organized by the ECOWAS Commission with the health ministers from Cuba, Venezuela and the three West African countries.
Cote d'Ivoire, Ghana and Nigeria are hosting the three regional manufacturing facilities for the production of the biolarvicides.
The ECOWAS delegation also agreed to ensure that sites for the factories are finalized with the governments of Ghana, Nigeria and Cote d'Ivoire and foundation stones laid by December 2012.
The 2009 MOU has provisions for the establishment of a multilateral fund to promote and finance projects mainly in the health, education, food, mining, environment, agriculture, energy and infrastructure sectors.
A working group drawn from the two parties is expected to meet in July 2012 to initiate the activities and work schedule for its establishment as well as prepare a project proposal to be approved during the next high-level meeting to be hosted by West Africa in December 2012.