Kenya, Ghana and Malawi to participate in malaria vaccine pilot initiative

The female Anopheles mosquito that causes Malaria. Pregnant women are among the most affetcted with malaria./COURTESY

Mombasa,KENYA:The World Health Organization WHO has announced a pilot vaccine program intended to take place in 3 Sub Sahara African countries of Kenya, Ghana and Malawi.

The WHO coordinated malaria vaccine implementation program MVIP will make the world’s first malaria vaccine available in select areas at the beginning of 2018.

“Malaria vaccines are looking very promising with over 20 candidate vaccines in various stages of development, and of these a vaccine known as RTS,S is the most advanced. It has been shown to provide partial protection against malaria parasites in children, “announced Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, Regional Director AFRO during the eve of World Malaria Day on Monday.

Dr. Moeti confirmed that WHO has mobilized the funding for the first phase of the pilot program for 2017-2020.

She added that,” The pilot program will be implemented in close collaboration with the ministries of health of these 3 participating countries.”

“WHO-recommended tools have made a measurable difference in the global malaria fight. But we need a much bigger push for prevention especially in Africa, which bears the greatest burden of malaria,” said Dr. Margaret Chan, Director General, WHO, in a statement.