Posts or Comments 19 June 2024

Children &Mortality &Vaccine Bill Brieger | 14 Mar 2023 07:11 pm

THE RTS,S MALARIA VACCINE: A Solution to Nigeria’s Constant Public Health Crisis

By Blessing George & Chino Nduaka and originally posted in the Social and Behavioral Foundations of Primary Health Care Blog.

https://www.everydayhealth.com/malaria/world-health-organization-approves-first-malaria-vaccine/

More than 50% of deaths from malaria are from four African countries, and Nigeria heads the list, contributing a significant part at more than 30%. Nigeria faces a major public health burden, with an estimated 65 million cases and over 100,000 deaths in 2021, representing over 50% of malaria cases in West Africa. With most outpatient visits in Nigeria being caused by malaria, this disease has taken a toll on the economy. Malaria is among the top five causes of under-five mortality in Nigeria. Over the years, various organizations have joined hands in the fight against this deadly disease. However, Nigeria remains at the top of the list contributing significantly to the mortality rate. Insecticide-treated nets (ITNs), indoor residual spraying, and free sharing of anti-malaria drugs for prophylaxis and treatment constitute ways the country has tackled the disease burden. With the funding allocation repeatedly given by international organizations such as the WHO, the World Bank, and the Global Fund channeled to these interventions that have proved somewhat ineffective, we are at crossroads that begs the question, what next? In 2016, the world’s pioneer malaria vaccine, RTS, S, sold with the brand name, Mosquirix, was introduced for pilot implementation in three malaria-endemic countries. It has been administered to over a million children with positive results on its effectiveness. In 2022, the Nigerian government officially applied to receive the vaccine through GAVI but was hit back with the response that currently, there is an insufficient supply of vaccines. Nigeria tops the list of the global malaria mortality rate and should be prioritized. The Nigerian Ministry of Health, in collaboration with the Nigerian Primary Healthcare agency, needs to fight for the health of its citizens, respond to GAVI, and state the concrete reasons why the country should be prioritized. The goal is to ensure that these vaccines are made available for the under-5 population in Nigeria by 2025 such that in the malaria world report of 2030, Nigeria should not be named a major contributing country to malaria mortality.

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