12 African Countries, Cameroon inclusive, to benefit from 18 million doses of first-ever malaria vaccine

Malaria remains one of Africa’s deadliest diseases, killing nearly half a million children under the age of 5, and accounting for 95% of global malaria cases and 96% of deaths in 2021 according to United Nation agencies.

The United Nations Agencies have said 18 million doses of the first-ever malaria vaccine over the next two years have been allocated to twelve countries across different regions in Africa, Cameroon inclusive.

The allocation has been with priority given to countries where the risk of malaria and death among children are highest.

According to Thabani Maphosa, Managing Director of Country Programmes Delivery at Gavi, the vaccine alliance; “This vaccine has the potential to be very impactful in the fight against malaria and when broadly deployed alongside other interventions, it can prevent tens of thousands of future deaths every year.”

“While we work with manufacturers to help ramp up supply, we need to make sure that doses that we do have are used as effectively as possible, which means applying all the learnings from our pilot programmes as we broaden out to a new total of 12 countries,” he further explained.

Going by the UNICEF Associate Director of Immunization, Ephrem T Lemango, nearly every minute, a child under 5 years of age dies of malaria.

“For a long time, these deaths have been preventable and treatable; but the rollout of the vaccine will give children, especially in Africa, an even better chance at surviving. As supply increases, we hope even more children benefit from this life-saving advancement,” he said.

Since 2019, Ghana, Kenya and Malawi have been delivering the malaria vaccine through the Malaria Vaccine Implementation Programme, MVIP, coordinated by the World Health Organisation, WHO and funded by Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, the Global Fund to Fight Aid, Tuberculosis and Malaria, and the United Nations.

The RTS,S/AS01 vaccine has been administered to more than 1.7 million children in Ghana, Kenya and Malawi since 2019 and has been shown to be safe and effective resulting in both a substantial reduction in severe malaria and a fall in child deaths. At least 28 African countries have expressed interest in receiving the malaria vaccine.

Source: Cameroon News Agency

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