The first phase of the Typhoid Vaccine trial (TyVac) has managed to reach out to 28,000 children in Ndirande and Zingwangwa townships in Blantyre.
Head Researcher for the Typhoid Vaccine Trial at Malawi Liverpool Wellcome Trust Dr. Melita Gordon, described the exercise as a ‘real landmark’.
Gordon told YFM that they will now will be following up the vaccinated children in order to measure the effectiveness of the vaccine for a period of 3 years.
“Our goal is to ensure that the vaccine works and protects the children against typhoid, so we will be checking on them through their health centers and Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital,” said Gordon.
She also mentioned about their discussion with government to incorporate TyVac into the immunization programme across the country.
“We have already been meeting with the line ministry on the possibility of having TyVac as one of the vaccines that children in Malawi should receive.”
Commenting on the study District Health Officer for Blantyre Dr. Gift Kawalazira said the vaccine will go a long way to reduce the burden of typhoid which keeps resurfacing in some areas a recent case being Kasungu.
“I have managed Typhoid outbreaks before and it has been a daunting task for us as health workers but we are hopeful that the vaccine works in our children,” said Kawalazira.
He also spoke about the good coordination that his office and MLW had during time of the study from February to September.
Initially MLW had a target of 24,000 children between 9 months and 12 years in the TyVac trial .
The ministry of Health and Population, ministry of Education, Science and Technology, traditional leaders, religious leaders and community members all took part in the study.