Malaria vaccine launched in Kenya: Kenya joins Ghana and Malawi to roll out landmark vaccine in pilot introduction
The World Health Organization (WHO) congratulates the Government of Kenya for launching the world’s first malaria vaccine in Homa Bay County, western Kenya.
The malaria vaccine pilot programme is now fully underway in Africa, as Kenya joins Ghana and Malawi to introduce the landmark vaccine as a tool against a disease that continues to affect millions of children in Africa.
The vaccine, known as RTS,S, will be available to children from 6 months of age in selected areas of the country in a phased pilot introduction. It is the first and only vaccine to significantly reduce malaria in children, including life-threatening malaria.
Malaria claims the life of one child every two minutes. The disease is a leading killer of children younger than 5 years in Kenya.
“Africa has witnessed a recent surge in the number of malaria cases and deaths. This threatens the gains in the fight against malaria made in the past two decades,” said Dr Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa. “The ongoing pilots will provide the key information and data to inform a WHO policy on the broader use of the vaccine in sub-Saharan Africa. If introduced widely, the vaccine has the potential to save tens of thousands of lives.”