MW government rolls out malaria vaccine
The government says it is making progress in the fight against malaria, with the goal of completely eliminating the disease by 2030.
Malawi: The government says it is making progress in the fight against malaria, with the goal of completely eliminating the disease by 2030, writes Memory Phoso.
Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Health Dr Charles Mwansambo made the remarks on Tuesday at Matimbe ground in Mchinji during the launch of Africa's first Malaria vaccine.
Mwansambo stated that the country has reduced malaria mortality rates by nearly half, from 23 per 100,000 deaths in 2016 to 12 per 100,000 deaths in 2021.
"We were able to cut mortality in half. Looking at 2016 figures, we were at 23 per 100,000, and last year's figures put us at around 12 per 100,000. However, that is still significant," Mwansambo said.
Mwansambo went on to say that the government has launched the Malaria vaccine after a successful pilot phase in 11 districts as an additional intervention to eradicate the disease completely by 2030.
"We want to eradicate malaria in Malawi, which is why we are here today to launch this malaria vaccine as an additional weapon against malaria," Mwansambo explained.
Meanwhile, the Principal Secretary has urged parents with children under the age of five to bring their children to receive the vaccine, which he described as effective because it prevents approximately 33% of malaria deaths.
Scott Gordon, Director for Malaria Vaccine Implementation Program in Africa for PATH, an international health organisation, stated that his organisation has been working with Malawi and other African countries on the malaria vaccine pilot programme.
"We have been collaborating with the World Health Organization and health ministries in Malawi, Ghana, and Kenya to implement the pilot and evaluate experiences in the three countries. We are also collaborating closely with the World Health Organization to increase vaccine production," he said.
Gordon also stated that PATH assists the Ministry of Health in the implementation of the vaccine and in expanding the vaccine to other districts.
Dr Neema Rusibamayila Kimambo, WHO representative in Malawi, expressed hope that the vaccine will aid the country in its goal of eliminating malaria by 2030.
Kimambo stated that the vaccine, which has proven to be effective, is part of the solution to the malaria problem.
Malaria remains a major public health issue in Malawi, with children under the age of five being particularly vulnerable.