There are indications that the world’s first malaria vaccine will soon be available in Nigeria and across Sub-Saharan Africa.
According to reports, about one million children in Ghana, Kenya and Malawi have received at least one dose of the vaccine known as RTS,S/AS01E and marketed under the brand name Mosquirix.
Findings from the World Health Organisation (WHO) pilot study in Ghana, Kenya and Malawi, showed that the pioneering vaccine caused a significant reduction in severe malaria and hospitalisation among vaccinated children.
John Bawa, Africa Lead for Vaccine Implementation at Programme for Appropriate Technology in Health (PATH) who disclosed the development said the findings paved the way for an expanded distribution scheme that will see countries like Mozambique, Nigeria and Zambia receive the vaccines.
At the webinar organised by the African Media and Malaria Research Network (AMMREN), PATH and Kintampo Health Research Centre (KHRC) during the 2022 World Malaria Day, Bawa said Nigeria, Mozambique, Uganda, and Zambia have written officially to express interest in the vaccine.
He said malaria vaccine coverage in Malawi was at 88 per cent in 2020 and 93 per cent in 2021. In Ghana, it was 71 per cent in 2020 and 76 per cent in 2021 and in Kenya, it was 69 per cent in 2020 and 83 per cent in 2021.
Wellington Oyibo, the Director of the Centre for Malaria Diagnosis, Research, Capacity Building and Policy, University of Lagos, has said that African leaders should ensure that their counterpart funds are available to purchase the vaccine.