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Current Affairs

Kenya becomes 3rd African nation to introduce Malaria vaccine

Date: 14 September 2019 Tags: Miscellaneous

Issue

Kenya became the third African country to introduce the vaccine, after Malawi and Ghana. The aim is to reach about 360,000 children per year across the three countries.

 

Background

Malaria is a top killer in many African countries. According to the World Health Organization, the region accounted for 92% of the cases and 93% of malaria deaths in 2017. The parasitic disease kills about 435,000 people every year, most of them children under five in Africa.

 

Details

  • The vaccine is developed by GlaxoSmithKline(GSK) and partners after a research of more than 30 years , at a cost of around $1 billion. GSK is donating up to 10 million vaccine doses in the current vaccination initiatives.

  • The malaria vaccine only protects about one-third of children who are immunised and those who get the shots are likely to have less severe cases of malaria.

 

Challenges

  • There has been a surge in malaria cases as cases rise even among adolescents. They reason for it is global warming and longer wet seasons.

  • Resistance is growing to medicines that treat the disease and mosquitoes are becoming more resistant to insecticides.

  • Funding for malaria research efforts has come to a stagnant position in recent years.