Home NEWSHealth Cameroon Rolls Out First-ever Malaria Vaccine

Cameroon Rolls Out First-ever Malaria Vaccine

by Atlantic Chronicles
AC

The Government of Cameroon on Monday, January 22, began vaccinating children from six months and above to immunize them against Malaria.

The drug, RTS,S (Mosquirix) is the first-ever malaria vaccine to have ever been produced and Cameroon is the first Country to roll it out, although clinical trials had taken place in Malawi, Kenya and Ghana. It showed some efficacy among over two million children who were tested.

In Cameroon’s Southwest Region, where three Health Districts have been chosen, vaccination started on Tuesday, January 23.

In the Tiko Health District, in Fako Division, vaccination was conducted in several facilities, with many parents turning up with their children to get the first jabs.

According to the Tiko District Medical Officer, Dr Youmbi Andre, the acceptance rate in Tiko was very high. He said Tiko was chosen as one of the vaccination centres in the Region because malaria contributes the most to the numerous deaths in the district.

Parents who turned up to vaccinate their kids said they were very happy that malaria now has a vaccine. To some, it will save lives and also help them save money. That is because treating the disease is very expensive.

Tiko, Mamfe and Limbe were the health zones selected in the Southwest because of the high prevalence rate of malaria. In general, the Cameroon government selected some 42 health districts in the national territory where malaria deaths are very high.

Malaria remains an endemic disease in the Central African nation. As per statistics from the global health agency, Cameroon records over six million malaria cases each year, with the disease killing an estimated 13,839 people in 2021 alone, the majority of whom were children under the age of five.

Cameroon secured some 331,200 shots in November and plans to vaccinate approximately 249,133 children aged 0–24 months across 42 health districts in all ten of its regions.

The Mosquirix, RTS,S vaccine was produced by the British drug maker GSK. The company says it can only produce around 15 million doses yearly.  The demand for the vaccine is likely to increase as over 20 countries have expressed interest in taking the vaccine.

By Njodzeka Danhatu

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