Ghana has taken delivery of 400,000 doses of the new malaria vaccine RTS,S or Mosquirix to pilot malaria vaccine implementation programme (MVIP) from May 1 in 33 districts in six selected regions.
According to the Director General of the Ghana Health Service, Dr. Anthony Nsiah Asare the Food and Drugs Authority has authorized the use of the drugs in the six selected regions namely: Volta, Oti, Ahafo, Bono, Bono East and Central.
“We have assessed and ensured the adequate capacity of the country’s cold chain and injection waste management,” Dr. Nsiah Asare noted about the storage of the vaccine.
The vaccine is expected to avert at least 50,000 malaria cases and save approximately 750 children in the intervention areas.
In Ghana, malaria causes about 2,000 deaths annually, approximately 48% of them children under the age of 5.
The vaccine has come as an additional tool of the intervention to accelerate the country’s efforts towards control and elimination of the disease
The goal of the RTS, S pilot, according of the director, public health division of the Ghana Health Service, Dr, Badu Sakodie is to access feasibility, safety and impact of the vaccine in the context of routine use alongside other currently recommended malaria control measure.
THE RTS, S OR MOSQUIRIX
The RTS, S or Mosquirix vaccine is an injectable, developed to protect the plasmodium falciparum malaria in children.
The plasmodium falciparum, is the predominant malaria parasite which causes 80 to 90 percent of severe morbidity and mortality mostly in children under 5 and pregnant women.
The vaccine stimulates the body’s own immune system to defend it against malaria by preventing the parasite from infecting, maturing and multiplying in the liver.
All eligible children will be targeted to receive the full 4 doses of the new vaccine beginning from the 6th month, 7th, 9th and the 24th month.