Health Ministry Still Deciding on Malaria Vaccine
The Ministry of Health is still consulting stakeholders before making a final decision on whether to include the malaria vaccine or not as an additional method in malaria prevention, months after the World Health Organisation (WHO) approved it.
Programs Manager at National Malaria Control Programme in the Ministry of Health Dr. Michael Kayange, while commending the vaccine as a sure way to fighting malaria, told us they have not made a position yet on the way forward.
Said Dr. Kayange, “we are undergoing a decision-making process which has got several stages, as at now I cannot say the ministry has made any decision yet but the processes are at an advanced stage.”
He however expressed optimism that a positive decision would be made considering that Malawi was among the countries where the vaccine was tested in the pilot phase.
“I cannot tell which decision will be made but we are just hopeful that a positive decision will be made. It will be quite soon this February when the decision will be made.”
According to Dr. Kayange Malawi is likely going to be the first country to make a decision on the vaccine as no other country has done so yet.
The ministry of health indicated in October 2021 that it would include malaria vaccine in its childhood immunization programs.
Meanwhile, health rights activist Maziko Matemba has advised the ministry of health to fast-track its decision-making process and start lobbying for support from development partners.
“What government needs to do is to make sure that key stakeholders including people who help financially are engaged because in this way it will be very easy for them to support.” Said Matemba.
In October 2021, WHO recommended that the Mosquirix malaria vaccine could be used in the fight against malaria in countries overburdened by the disease.
The approval followed years of testing in three African countries of Malawi, Kenya, and Ghana.