Kenya has added the world’s first malaria vaccine to routine immunization for children under two years. The vaccine was launched in the western county of Homa Bay.
This makes the East African nation, the third country in Africa to roll out the vaccine for malaria.
“Our current strategic direction for malaria eradication is to have at least have 80% of people living in malaria risk areas having access to appropriate malaria preventative interventions. This strategy will involve sustained implementation of the existing interventions which I have just talked about but also the introduction of new interventions such as the introduction of malaria vaccine which we are here today to launch”, said Kenyan Cabinet Secretary for Health, Sicily Kariuki.
Now my child is not going to be sick of malaria again so I am very happy.
Josephine Atieno had her child vaccinated Friday. She’s optimistic the vaccine will have positive effects.
“Now I am not going to use the money to the hospital. I am happy because of the thing (malaria vaccine), now my child is not going to be sick of malaria again so I am very happy”, she said.
Malaria is a top killer of children under five years in Kenya. It plans to roll out the vaccine to eight of its 47 counties over the next two years.
Ghana and Malawi launched their pilot programmes of the vaccine earlier this year.
Malaria infected about 219 million people in 2017, killing about 435,000 of them. Majority were babies and children in the poorest parts of Africa.