The director-general of Kenya’s health ministry, Wekesa Masasabi, told reuters, “Malaria is a top killer of children under five in the East African nation, and the vaccine is critically important to its efforts to combat the disease because other measures such as mosquito nets have not proven adequate.”
Therefore, to protect the people of Africa from these diseases, Kenya introduced a new malaria vaccine to the routine immunisation schedule for children under two which is considered to be the world’s first malaria vaccine, making Kenya the third African country to roll out the vaccine for the disease that kills one child globally every two minutes.
Masasabi further said, before launch of the vaccine in the western county of Homa Bay, “We still have an incidence of 27 per cent (malaria infection) for children under five.”
The Homa Bay programme was the government’s first step towards creating awareness of the new vaccine, he continued.
African nations Ghana and Malawi launched their pilot programmes of the vaccine earlier this year. Kenya plans to roll out the vaccine to eight of its 47 counties over the next two years, Masasabi said.