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Mahama hails new malaria vaccine

Former President John Mahama has expressed his excitement over the approval of the malaria vaccine by the World Health Organisation (WHO).

According to him, millions of African children will be saved from avoidable deaths due to this scientific and public health breakthrough.

In a Facebook post on Thursday, October 7, 2021, Mr Mahama said:

 

“It is refreshing and promising to learn that our expression of interest in 2016 to the WHO and active participation in the Malaria vaccine pilot program has led to the approval of the vaccine to be deployed in sub-Saharan Africa and other malaria-endemic regions.”

“Thanks to Dr. Vasee Moorthy and his team at the World Health Organization, who responded favorably to Ghana’s expression of interest in the malaria vaccine program in 2016.”

“Congratulations to the WHO, Ghana’s Technical Working Group, and the governments and people of Malawi and Kenya who joined us in the successful pilot immunisation programme.

“As Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the Director-General of the WHO, said, this is, ‘a historic moment’.”

WHO has recommended widespread use of the malaria vaccine among children in sub-Saharan Africa and other regions with moderate to high P. falciparum malaria transmission.

The recommendation is based on results from an ongoing pilot programme in Ghana, Kenya, and Malawi that has reached more than 800 000 children since 2019.

“This is a historic moment. The long-awaited malaria vaccine for children is a breakthrough for science, child health, and malaria control,” said WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

“Using this vaccine on top of existing tools to prevent malaria could save tens of thousands of young lives each year.”

Malaria remains a primary cause of childhood illness and death in sub-Saharan Africa. More than 260 000 African children under the age of five die from malaria annually.

In recent years, WHO and its partners have been reporting a stagnation in progress against the deadly disease.

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