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MALARIA VACCINE AND THE FIGHT AGAINST MALARIA

 

FRANK ENEAWAJI OGWUONUONU                      

For many years malaria had been a threat to human beings, especially Africans in sub – Sahara region. The death toll as a result of malaria is the world health organization, a sleepless night. Though, in some parts of the world there is no malaria related death as it is observed in Nigeria and some parts of Africa.

            Centuries past, some missionaries and Europeans merchants were unable to survive in Africa because of death caused by malaria parasite. Mosquitoes is the carrier of the malaria parasite, especially the anopheles, known as the female Mosquito.

    In Africa, children are mostly affected because of their immune system. Though, WHO, is fighting hard to eradicate malaria parasite related in Africa. Some African countries are trying their best to stop malaria related on the continent.

            J.B.C. Obidime, in his book, comprehensive practical biology, says that mosquitoes are the vectors or carries of diseases. Anopheles mosquito carries the plasmodium parasite, which causes malaria from one to another. Cutex mosquito carries germs that cause elephantiasis, dengue fever and yellow fever.

Only female mosquitoes suck blood, so the actual carriers of plasmodium are the female Anopheles mosquitoes. Male Anopheles mosquitoes suck plant juice.

            And indeed, malaria vaccines are vaccines that prevent a mosquito–borne infectious disease which annually affect an estimated 247 million people worldwide and causes 619,000 deaths. The first approved vaccine for malaria is RTS, S, known by the brond name Mosquirix.

            According to Amal A. El-Moamly and Mohamed A. El-Sweify, the world has made great strides towards beating malaria, although about half of the world population is still exposed to the risk of contracting malaria. Developing an effective malaria vaccine was a huge challenge for medical science.

            In 2021, the World Health Organization approved the first malaria vaccine, RTS, S/AS01 vaccine (Mosquirix) for widespread use.

            Vanguard online, reported that Cameroun will introduce Malaria vaccine in January, 22. The camerounie minister of public Health, Manaouda Malachieon, says the country to introduce  the Malaria vaccine of January 22.

            The Minister in a statement on Tuesday, said the move was part of concerted efforts to enhance the fight against malaria and reduce morbidity and mortality associated with the disease, Cameroun took delivery of 331,200 doses of malaria vaccine in November 2023, the consignment to arrive in the central African country. He revealed that malaria is responsible for 70 percent of deaths among children in Cameroun.

            The fight against malaria is gaining momentum and is breaking new grounds. Indeed, the demand is high and 12 African countries got 18 million doses of RTS, SLAS01 for the 2023 to 2025 period

Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Benin , Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroun , Liberia, Niger, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Sierra Leone, Uganda to introduce the vaccine into their routine immunization Programme for the first time.

This vaccine has the potential to be very impactful in the fight against malaria and when broadly deployed alongside other intervention it can prevent tens of thousands of future death every year, said Thabani Maphosa Managing Director Gavi, the vaccine Alliance

            Indeed, awareness and acceptability of malaria vaccine among care givers of under – 5 children in  Northern Nigeria has yielded good result. It is not rumour or fakeness that malaria is a killer diseases. And that is why every citizen should inform his or her neighbor the importance of malaria vaccine to Nigeria’s and Africans. The menace of malaria disease is not hidden to eyes as the negative impact to families is glaring.

            The federal government through the ministry of Health should put modality in place for proper vaccination of children and others in Nigeria, the vaccine should not be hoarded or sold to people who need it.

            Health workers across should be mobilized and logistics put in place for easy implementation. Health facilities should be equipped to preserve and reserve the vaccine in order not to spoil. There should be bottle-neck procedure in the administration of the malaria vaccine. The exercise should not fail.

            Religious, ethnic and opinion leaders should get involve in sentizing and informing their people on the importance of the malaria vaccine. This is because the fight against malaria disease in Nigeria and Africa, should be for all, for a lasting victory over malaria related deaths to be achieved. Join the crusade of informing the people about the availability of malaria vaccine in the world.

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