MoH to scale up National Malaria Vaccine implementation programme
The Ministry of Health is expected to scale up the National Malaria Vaccine implementation programme across the country come January 2024.
The programme, first launched in May 2019 and was piloted in 42 malaria endemic districts, has now been scaled up to 51 districts in seven regions of the country.
This is to bring the malaria mortality rate of children less than five years to the barest minimum.
The Minister of Health, Kwaku Agyeman-Manu, announced this at the launch of the National Malaria Vaccine expansion programme in Sunyani on Monday.
It was on the theme: “Malaria Vaccine For Additional Protection” and attended by stakeholders in health, students from the nursing training school and a cross-section of the general public.
Mr Agyeman-Manu said the Ministry of Health and the Ghana Health Service with partners from the World Health Organisation (WHO), among others, were working hard to eradicate malaria from the country by 2030.
“The Ministry of Health is moving from malaria control to malaria elimination come 2030,” Mr Agyeman-Manu said.
The Health Minister explained that the malaria vaccine was administered in four doses for babies under six months, seven months, nine months and one-and-a-half years.
The Director General of Ghana Health Service, Dr Patrick Kuma-Aboagye, said Ghana recorded 5.7 million malaria confirmed cases in 2021 with 275 deaths while children under five accounted for 1.6 million cases representing 28 .1 per cent of the population.
According to him the current trends of malaria disease burden emphasised the need to explore proven cost effective remedies to complement existing interventions.
The Ghana Health Service, he said was working with its partners, targeting 90 per cent reduction of malaria deaths and 50 per cent reduction of malaria cases by 2025 through prevention and controlling intervention.
This, he noted included massive distribution of mosquito bed nets, which was done twice every year, indoor residual spraying and intermittent prevention control methods among others
The WHO Representative to Ghana, Dr Francis Kasolo, in a remark said 1.5 million doses of malaria vaccine had been administered across 42 districts in Ghana, reaching over 440,000 children with at least one dose and with over 175, 000 children completing the commendable achievement for Ghana and Africa.
The sumpahemaa of the Sunyani Traditional Council, Nana Akosua Akoma, on her part called on nursing mothers to get their children vaccinated when the exercise begins, to protect them against malaria.
FROM DANIEL DZIRASAH, SUNYANI