Malawi, Kenya, Ghana and other three African countries are expected to benefit from the $160 million to facilitate vaccine access to Children at high risk of illness and death from Malaria.
World Health Organisation Regional Director for Africa, Matshidiso Moeti said the countries that began the pilot introduction of the vaccine in 2019 are the ones to benefit first from the fund before other eligible endemic countries get in their hands.
“Since 2019 when the world’s first malaria vaccine was introduced, it has been well accepted in Africa. The demand is high in the context of Covid 19,” said Moeti.
Moeti added that the vaccination performance for the first dose clocked between 73 to 90 per cent on average.
Epidemiologist Titus Divala said tools like insecticide spraying, treated-bed nets, rapid detention tests, timely effective treatment and preventive treatment for pregnant women are not adequate as some groups of people are not reached and remain at high risk of being affected by Malaria.
“Results of the 3-country pilot implementation have shown that the vaccine is easy to deliver, and was able to get to children that would otherwise not get full-time access to bed nets or a clinic. It did not have harmful effects, and it was cost-effective at the programmatic level,” said Divala.
Divala has since urged the Malawi Government to tap into the $160 million malaria vaccine funding as the vaccine is safe and has the capacity to transform Malawi’s battle against Malaria and save thousands of lives.