A recent study on the effectiveness of Rotavirus vaccine which was conducted in Mchinji has revealed that infant diarrhoea deaths have been reduced by 34%.
The study which was done by the University of Liverpool, UCL, John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and partners in Malawi has also found that hospital visitation due to diarrhoea has reduced by more than 54%.
In an interview with YFM, Principal investigator in the study Dr Charles Mwansambo said as a health ministry they are delighted with the impact the vaccine has made.
“We are happy with the results and we are encouraging mothers to take their children for vaccination and observe good hygiene practices.”
“Let me also highlight that as a country we have a strong vaccination programme,” Dr Mwansambo said.
Commenting on the findings in a statement, Professor Nigel Cunliffe from the University of Liverpools Centre for Global Vaccine Research, one of the study leads, said: “Rotavirus remains a leading cause of severe diarrhoea and death among infants and young children in many countries in Africa and Asia.”
“Our findings strongly advocate for the incorporation of rotavirus vaccine into the childhood immunisation programmes of countries with high rates of diarrhoea deaths, and support continued use in such countries where a vaccine has been introduced,” Cunliffe said.
Malawi introduced the Rotavirus vaccine in 2012.
The study which began in 2012 ended in 2016 and was done in 13 areas of Mchinji.