Three African Countries Expand Malaria Vaccine Rollout Targeting Millions of Children

Three more African countries Benin, Liberia, and Sierra Leone have joined the rollout of malaria vaccines aimed at protecting millions of children on a continent where 95 percent of malaria deaths occur, according to the UN.

Africa is home to approximately 94 percent of global malaria cases, with children being the most affected demographic.

The World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF announced that Benin, Liberia, and Sierra Leone have incorporated the malaria vaccine into their childhood immunisation programmes.

This initiative builds on the success of vaccination efforts that began in 2019 in Ghana, Kenya, and Malawi, where over two million children have been vaccinated.

These initial efforts have led to significant reductions in severe malaria cases and hospitalisations.

Sierra Leone’s Health Minister, Austin Demby, commented on the new malaria vaccine, stating, “With the new, safe, and efficacious malaria vaccine, we now have an additional tool to fight this disease.

In combination with insecticide-treated nets, effective diagnosis and treatment, and indoor spraying, no child should die from malaria infection.”

Benin has received an initial shipment of 215,900 doses, while Liberia anticipates benefiting 45,000 children from its first batch of 112,000 doses. Sierra Leone plans to begin its vaccination programme with 550,000 doses and will subsequently distribute the vaccine to health facilities across the country.

The two vaccines currently recommended by WHO RTS,S and R21 are considered breakthroughs in child health and malaria control, offering new hope in the fight against this deadly disease.

Share this:

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *