Kisumu is set to introduce malaria vaccine across the county as an additional intervention to other existing malaria control measures following the introduction of the vaccine in Kenya.
During a workshop that brought together stakeholders at the Vic Hotel in Kisumu, the County malaria unit plans to implement the malaria vaccine exercise in the county.
According to Fredrick Oluoch, Kisumu East Sub County Malaria Coordinator, Kenya joined two other African countries Ghana and Malawi, who are already implementing the vaccine in the continent. The vaccine is the first ever malaria vaccine to be introduced by World Health Organization (WHO).
Mr. Oluoch stressed that the Malaria vaccine provides additional intervention to other existing malaria control interventions in Kenya and should be used together with other existing malaria intervention as it provides partial immunity.
The Vaccines targets older children between 5 -17 months of age and infants receives the vaccine together with other routine childhood vaccines at 6,10 and 14 weeks of age. Mr. Oluoch also emphasized the need to for children to receive all other vaccines to protect them from other illnesses.
The other interventions are regular use of mosquito nets which is the most effective method in malaria case management, testing and treating at hospitals, community case management for malaria at households’ level through community health workers, use of indoor residual sprays and use of malaria prophylaxis.
He noted that children are at high risk of malaria due to the fact that they still lack immunity(protection) against malaria.
The vaccine targets around 360000 children in Kenya per year and will be of public health impact given the large number of malaria cases in children it will avert.