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Kenya Rolls Out First Malaria Vaccine In Homa Bay

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From Today, the world’s first malaria vaccine is being rolled out in parts of Kenya in a routine vaccination schedule, and more than 300,000 children are expected to receive the vaccine over the next three years according to the ministry of health.

From WHO records, Malaria kills more than 400,000 people globally each year- mostly children. Global Health Correspondent Tulip Mazumdar reports have also backed up the reports.

Malaria is a top killer of children under five throughout African, and the vaccine is critically important to its efforts to combat the disease because other measures such as mosquito nets have not proven adequate, the director-general of Kenya’s health ministry, Wekesa Masasabi, told media.

“We still have an incidence of 27per cent (malaria infection) for children under five,” Masasabi said before Friday’s launch of the vaccine in the western county of Homa Bay.

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The Homa Bay program was the government’s first step toward creating awareness of the new vaccine, according to the director-general of Kenya’s health ministry, Wekesa Masasabi.

African nations Ghana and Malawi launched their pilot programs of the vaccine earlier this year. Kenya plans to roll out the vaccine to eight of its 47 counties over the next two years, Masasabi said.

Malaria can be eradicated within a generation, global health experts said in a major report last weekend that was commissioned by The Lancet medical journal. The Lancet report contradicted the conclusions last month of a malaria review by the World Health Organization, and its experts urged the WHO not to shy away from this goal of epic proportions.

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