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Nigeria to roll out malaria vaccine in Bayelsa and Kebbi

NMEP

Dr. Godwin Ntadom, national coordinator of the National Malaria Elimination Programme (NMEP), has revealed that Nigeria plans to introduce malaria vaccines in Beyelsa and Kebbi states by the end of 2024.

Dr. Ntadom, who announced this on Tuesday during the NMEP media chat in Abuja, noted that the vaccine is new and that the country has subscribed to it, adding that the vaccine will be rolled out in additional states shortly.

He stated, “So far, only Cameroon and Kenya have begun using the malaria vaccine. Nigeria will begin use in select states, beginning with Kebbi and Bayelsa, and then expanding to the rest of the country.

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

Dr. Ntadom noted that the country’s goal in malaria elimination is to reduce malaria prevalence to 10% by 2025, as well as to assure that malaria is no longer a public health challenge.

He stated that the malaria burden in the country has decreased from 27 percent in 2015 to 22 percent in 2021, and it is more likely to decrease in 2024 given the efforts made to lower the burden.

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“While working on the previous strategy, we have implemented new strategies, provided anti-malaria medicine, distributed treated mosquito nets, and begun seasonal malaria chemopreventive treatment, particularly in the north where malaria is prevalent, and mortality in the region has decreased as a result of the seasonal malaria intervention.

“The chemopreventive treatment is carried out in locations where rainfall is seasonal; malaria cases often increase during the rainy season; therefore, we target that time period. In other regions of the country, we distribute nets to guarantee that vulnerable children and pregnant women receive sufficient care. We also have other treatments for pregnant women, such as intermittent preventative therapy for pregnant women,” he noted.

The national coordinator for malaria treatment urged Nigerians to purchase antimalarial medications that contain artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT) for effective treatment.

“Some malaria medications are monotherapy, while others are combination therapy. Unfortunately, when you see medications like artemisinin, they are just monotherapies. It must be artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT), in which two medications are combined. If you see that it is only one treatment, do not buy it because it cannot clear all parasites,” he explained.

Techrectory with Agency Report.

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