An epidemiologist from the Malawi Liverpool Wellcome Trust has described the endorsement of the (RTS, S) malaria vaccine by the World Health Organization (WHO) as a significant stride towards malaria elimination.
Speaking to Yoneco FM Online, the epidemiologist Dr Donnie Mategula said, the vaccine will help reduce the burden of the disease in Malawi.
“The vaccine works by training the immune system to fight off Malaria infection in the event that the body has the disease’.
“As scientists we know that the vaccine protects approximately 4 children per every 10 children that receive the vaccine and given the burden of the disease in Malawi and sub-Saharan Africa region this is a very significant high number,” said Mategula.
Nonetheless, Mategula said the vaccine should be used together with the already existing malaria control tools such as bed nets.
The vaccine is the first of its kind and will assist in the prevention of 260,000 deaths of under five children from Africa who die yearly from the disease.
In June 2021, President Lazarus Chakwera launched the Zero Malaria Campaign which seeks to eradicate the disease by 2030.