Malawi is among three African countries to begin the piloting of an injectable malaria vaccine by next year (2018), a statement from World Health Organization (WHO) has revealed.The other countries are Ghana and Kenya.
According to WHO, the vaccine with partial effectiveness has the potential to save tens of thousands of lives if used with existing measures.
“The vaccine will be tested on children, aged from five to 17 months, to see whether protective effects shown so far in clinical trials can hold up under real life conditions.”
About 120,000 children in each of the three mentioned countries will receive the vaccine, which has taken decades and millions of dollars to develop, according to WHO.
The UN agency said the countries will deliver the vaccine through existing vaccination schemes.
WHO is hoping to wipe out malaria by 2040, despite increasing resistance problems to both drugs and insecticides used to kill mosquitoes.
Malawi’s Minister of Health, Peter Kumpalume, said he has welcomed the development that Malawi has been chosen to test the vaccine.
“Malaria remains one of the major public health problems in Malawi. It is the leading cause of morbidity and mortality in children under five years of age.”
Therefore, he added, the coming of the new vaccine, which will be under trials soon, will bring hope in reducing deaths among children.