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WHO announces decline in malaria infections and deaths
The World Health Organization (WHO) has announced a significant reduction in child hospitalizations and deaths due to malaria in Kenya, following the successful rollout of the world's first malaria RTS,S vaccine.
This breakthrough comes as a result of the Malaria Vaccine Implementation Programme launched in 2019, with pilot phases taking place in Kenya, Ghana, and Malawi.
Over 1.2 million children immunized across three countries
To date, over one million doses of the RTS,S vaccine have been administered to 400,000 children in eight counties across Western Kenya.
Overall, more than 1.2 million children in Kenya, Malawi, and Ghana have been immunized.
A report released by the WHO highlights a substantial reduction in severe malaria infection and mortality among children in the lake-endemic malaria regions.
Impressive results lead to expanded vaccine use
Following the encouraging results, WHO recommended the wider use of RTS,S in Kenya, Malawi, and Ghana in October 2021. This move aims to reinforce prevention measures against P. falciparum malaria in children living in regions with moderate to high transmission.
Kenya is now expanding the use of the vaccine to 25 additional sub-counties, providing access to this essential malaria tool for more children at risk.
Health officials endorse vaccine's safety and efficacy
Health Cabinet Secretary Susan Nakhumincha announced the extension of RTS,S vaccination to 25 additional sub-counties in Western Kenya.
Dr. Nakhumicha emphasized the vaccine's safety and the already positive results recorded, urging parents to allow their children to be immunized.
A brighter future for children in malaria-affected regions
The successful implementation and expansion of the RTS,S vaccine program bring hope for a brighter, healthier future for children in Kenya and other malaria-affected regions. With a dramatic reduction in malaria cases and hospitalizations, more children will be able to benefit from this life-saving protection.