Cameroon Rolls Out First Mass Malaria Vaccine


Daniella is the first Cameroonian child to get a vaccine for malaria. She is only eight months old. Today, the first routine malaria vaccine starts in Cameroon. It will save many children’s lives in Africa.

They gave the vaccine to Daniella, a young baby girl, at a health facility. The jab was on Monday. Every year, about 600,000 people die of malaria in Africa, according to WHO statistics.

Children Under Five Dying of Malaria

Children under five account for about 80% of all these death statistics. Cameroon is giving free vaccines to all babies up to six months old. All the patients need at least four jabs. Health officials confirmed they released all the vaccines at the same time. It makes it easier for the patients and the parents.

Now, how did this happen? It comes after successful campaigns across South Africa. The vaccine created a drop of 13% in malaria deaths across South Africa.

Children Under Five Dying of Malaria
Source by aho

The vaccine is effective. US researchers state that it works in about 36% of the cases. Thus, the immunization saves one in three lives.

While the rollout is a life-saver, it has a low efficacy rate. Thus, the Malaria Councillor says that it is not a silver bullet. Yet, medics state that it is a vital tool to fight malaria. Using malaria tablets, mosquito nets, and the vaccine will give children protection. The protection will go up to about 90%.

“There is a capacity to cut down the number of cases and malaria deaths.” Doctor Ndoula announced. He helped lead the vaccine rollout in the country.

The development of the vaccine takes almost three decades of research. British medicine maker GSK handles rolling out the vaccine.

WHO Organization Approves of Malaria Vaccine

It was a historic moment when the WHO approved the vaccine and launched it in Cameroon. In this global fight against the mosquito virus, it was a win. Another breakthrough was the release of the vaccine earlier this month. Cape Verde becomes the first sub-Saharan African country to be malaria-free. It breaks a record of being free for about 50 years.

Safe and Effective with Zero Costs

Fears and doubts about the vaccine have raised a lot of concerns about the vaccine. “Many people turn into guinea pigs, but that is not completely true.” Public health professor Mbacham declares. “As scientists educate the public about it and the benefits, it calms them.”

Vaccination Danielle Ekoto told the BBC that she was reassuring mothers. After mothers get their jabs for their children, the health clinics tell them it is safe.

Yet, for most of the others, there are obvious benefits. “I wanted to vaccinate my kid to avoid getting malaria.” The mother told the press. It was at the vaccination centre near Yaounde. In 2021, about 95% of the global statistics for malaria were found in Africa.

“I prayed and waited a lifetime for the vaccine.” Mbacham told the press. The WHO states on Cameroon records that there are about 6 million cases of malaria every year. It can go up to 4000 deaths in health facilities with children under five.

Twenty other different countries are trying to roll out the vaccine, too. Based on the vaccine alliance, one of them is Faso, Liberia, Niger, and Sierra Leone.

There is a significant demand for the dose, but only 18 million jabs are available. It needs to catch up with other countries that are still waiting for approval. Oxford created the next vaccine, which will increase the available doses. As long as it gets approved, India will get the dose.

The rest of the world will wait for the WHO’s final approval to get the vaccine.


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