FG To Roll Out Malaria Vaccine In Bayelsa, Kebbi

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National coordinator, National Malaria Elimination Programme (NMEP), Dr Godwin Ntadom, has disclosed that Nigeria is set to roll out a malaria vaccine in Bayelsa and Kebbi states before the end of 2024.

Dr Ntadom, who disclosed this yesterday at the NMEP Media Chat in Abuja, stated that the vaccine is new and the country has subscribed to it, adding that very soon, the vaccine will be rolled out in some states.

He said: „So far, only Cameroon and Kenya have commenced the use of malaria vaccine. Nigeria will start the use in some states, starting with Kebbi and Bayelsa states and then extend it to other parts of the country.

“At present, Kebbi, Sokoto and Zamfara states have the highest burden of malaria in the country while  Lagos and Kwara States have the lowest.“

On the country‘s effort towards malaria elimination, Dr Ntadom stated that there is a target of reducing malaria prevalence in the country to 10 percent by 2025, and to also ensure that malaria is no longer a public health challenge.

He said the malaria burden in the country has reduced from 27 percent in 2015 to 22 percent in 2021 and more likely to reduce in 2024 considering the efforts made towards reducing the burden.

„While working on the former strategy we have been using, we have deployed new strategies, we provide anti-malaria medicine, distribute treated mosquito nets and we have commenced seasonal malaria chemopreventive treatment especially in the north where malaria is prevalent and the mortality in the region has reduced as a result of the seasonal malaria intervention.

The chemopreventive treatment is carried out in areas where rainfall is seasonal, malaria cases usually increase during the rainy season and we target that period.

In other parts of the country, we distribute nets and ensure that children who are the vulnerable population and pregnant women get adequate treatment. We have other interventions for pregnant women like the intermittent preventive treatment for pregnant women.“

On malaria treatment, the national coordinator urged Nigerians to buy antimalarial drugs that have artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT) for effective treatment.

„There are some malaria medicines that are monotherapy and some are combination therapy. When you see medicines like artemisinin, unfortunately, it is a monotherapy. It must be artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT), there are two medicines combined. Anytime you see that it is just one medicine, don‘t buy it, it cannot clear all the parasites,” he said.

 



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