UN announces 12 African countries to receive malaria vaccine
The World Health Organisation, WHO, Global Vaccine Alliance (GAVI) and the UN Childrens Fund (UNICEF) have announced that twelve African countries would receive the malaria vaccine. The agencies, in a statement issued on Wednesday, disclosed that the nations would receive eighteen million doses of the first-ever vaccine against malaria over the next two years. The RTS,S vaccine has been overseen to more than 1.6 million children in Kenya, Ghana and Malawi since four years ago and has been shown to be safe and effective. NAN reports that it resulted in a considerable reduction in severe malaria and a decline in child deaths. The WHO Director-General Tedros Ghebreyesus said malaria remained one of Africas deadliest diseases, killing nearly 500,000 children under the age of five yearly and accounting for approximately 96 percent of global malaria deaths in 2021. With the climate crisis changing weather patterns, mosquitoes that carry these diseases are increasing in density and spreading further afield, Ghebreyesus said while speaking during his regular media briefing from Geneva. The initial eighteen million dose allocation will allow nine additional African nations to introduce the vaccine into their routine immunisation programmes for the first time. Those countries include the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Burkina Faso, Niger, Uganda, Benin, Liberia, Burundi, Sierra Leone and Cameroon. The first doses are expected to arrive during the last quarter of this year, with rollout set to start by early 2024.