Malaria vaccine will finally land in Nigeria in 2024
Nigeria's malaria burden is the worst in the world and has been a major source of concern.
In 2021, the World Health Organisation (WHO) recommended the widespread use of the vaccine to specifically fight high P. falciparum malaria transmission.
Even though the early deployment targeted malaria-endemic areas in Sub-Saharan Africa, Nigeria has been unable to secure any doses for two years.
That's about to change according to an announcement by the Ministry of Health at a press briefing in Abuja commemorating World Malaria Day on Tuesday, April 25, 2023.
The ministry's permanent secretary, Mamman Mamuda, said Nigeria submitted an application to receive the vaccine and is expecting good news.
"The country has successfully submitted an application to Gavi for the RTS,S vaccine allocation. This is expected to be in-country by April 2024," he said.
The official noted that the vaccine will be deployed in a phased fashion depending on the quantity received next year.
Why Nigeria needs malaria vaccine
Nigeria recorded the world's highest number of malaria cases (27%), and the highest number of malaria deaths (31%) in the world in 2021.
The RTS,S is the only WHO-recommended vaccine in high-transmission areas and more than 1.4 million children have received at least one of four doses in Ghana, Kenya and Malawi. The global organisation has praised the vaccine for decreasing malaria hospitalisations and deaths in the three pilot countries.
At least 28 African countries were interested in applying for the vaccine, according to a WHO announcement earlier in April. The application window closed on April 18.
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