Federal Government says, the first malaria vaccine recommended by World Health Organization (WHO), is for Children and not for adults.
Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, stated this on Tuesday in Abuja at the Ministerial bi-weekly meeting on the update of COVID-19 response and development in the country’s health sector.
He said the Vaccine will be administered in four doses to 5-month-old babies.
Recall that WHO also said that the vaccine will be effective against the deadliest parasite, especially common in Africa but, not for adults.
The minister said that the country witnessed a total of 57 million clinical cases per year and annual deaths of about 100,000.
“It is also estimated that about 60 per cent of all out-patients and 30 per cent of all hospital admissions across the country are due to malaria.
“The malaria Vaccines are still under review with the first one known to have reduced the risk of malaria by 40 per cent in children in Africa as of 2020.
“The global target of the WHO is to reduce the incidence of malaria by at least 30 per cent by 2030.
“Malaria remains one of the most common diseases prone to misdiagnosis and self-medication.
“In Nigeria especially, any symptoms of chills, body pain and headache often equal the purchase of anti-malarial drugs; sometimes coupled with typhoid drugs; from the nearest pharmacy.
“Although effective in some cases, this ideology can be detrimental to our health due to complications and increasing resistance to some anti-malarial drugs,” he explained.
He, however, said that efforts were in place to combat the malaria scourge.
“Recently, President Muhammadu Buhari inaugurated the Nigeria End Malaria Council (NEMC) and mandated it to ensure successful implementation of the programme.
”The right implementation of strategies utilising collaboration and interventions would be based on the resolve of the administration to ensure the protection of the health of Nigerians and in the spirit of one health,” he said.
According to him, there are more than 30 Anopheles species of Mosquitoes that have been reported across the five geo-ecological zones in the country.
“One reason why the mosquito has thrived across all parts of the country is its ability to breed and proliferate under unusual conditions.
“The importance of this critical vector and the diseases it transmits established the Integrated Vector Management Branch within the National Malaria Elimination Programme.
“The essence of the programme is to coordinate all efforts to mitigate the impact of the diseases,” he said.
News Agency of Nigeria(NAN) reports that the 2021 World Malaria Report (WMR 2021), indicates that Nigeria contributes 27 per cent of the global malaria cases and 32 per cent of global malaria deaths.
The country is currently implementing the National Malaria Strategic Plan of 2021 to 2025, with the intent to achieve a parasite prevalence of less than 10 per cent.
It is also expected to reduce mortality attributable to malaria to less than 50 deaths per 1,000 live births by the year 2025.
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