The 6th annual conference of the Pan-African Mosquito Control Association (PAMCA) is currently taking place in Yaounde.
More than 350 vector scientists, national programme officials against malaria, NGOs, and industry representatives are currently in Yaounde discussing the latest updates in vector control while disseminating research findings in a bid to build collaborations, networks and partnership for a better fight against the disease. This is within the 6th annual conference of the Pan-African Mosquito Control Association (PAMCA) which began in Cameroon on September 23rd and ended on the 25th at the Yaounde Hilton Hotel. The President of PAMCA, Professor Charles Mbogo during the opening of the conference said the theme "Strengthening Vector Surveillance Systems for Malaria Elimination in Africa" fully captures the current focus of the association in the face of the heterogeneity in malaria transmission, the growing threat of insecticide resistance, and the arrival of new vector control tools on the market that will require a strong surveillance system to target the limited resources where they are needed. One of the key highlights of the conference is "Women in Vector Control Forum" which will be organising a two-day sideline workshop on the challenges women face in their workplaces and career. The initiative, Prof Mbogo explained, is to create a safe space for women in their workplaces and also to allow them play their rightful role in the control of vector-borne diseases. The conference, PAMCA President said, has also given young scientists an opportunity to work and discuss on novel vector control tool that are being developed elsewhere. The Chair of the Local Organising Committee, Dr Antonio-Nkondjio Christophe noted that vector borne diseases account for 17 per cent of infectious diseases, and are responsible for more than one million deaths each year worldwide. Africa alone, Dr Antonio-Nkondjio said, accounts for 40 per cent of the burden caused by these diseases. To him, the Yaounde gathering is an opportunity for participants from over 15 countries to assess past successes and failures, and to look for sustainable actions that could lead to the elimination of vector borne diseases in Africa. The Representative of the Minister of State, Minister of Higher Education, Professor Charles Wondji, said the objective of the conference is welcomed and falls in line with reinforcing government's policy to curb malaria while improving the living conditions of its population. At the end of the conference, he hoped that the results will be shared amongst the population especially those in the urban and rural areas so that they can better curb malaria among themselves.