Niger gives green light to vaccination of children under 5 years old

Niger “given the green light” Giving children under 5 years of age the British anti-malaria vaccine RTS,S/AS01 to fight the disease that has killed more than 4,000 people in 2021, Health Minister Illiassou Maïnassara told AFP on Thursday April 28. “In the coming months this vaccine will reach Niger and arrangements are already being made.”he assured.

A press release from the Council of Ministers confirmed this announcement and indicated that Niger was involved “World Health Organization Approved Countries”. On October 9, 2021, the WHO recommended the massive deployment of “RTS,S,” a vaccine from British pharmaceutical giant GSK, the only one so far to have shown efficacy in significantly reducing cases of malaria, including the most serious, in children.

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Since 2019, Ghana, Kenya and Malawi have started rolling out the vaccine in some regions. More than a million children have received this vaccine in these countries, showing a reduction “essentially serious cases”, according to WHO. in Nigeria, “Import Permit” This vaccine is already granted to partners including the WHO or Unicef, according to Minister Maïnassara.

More than 4 million cases in 2021

The “RTS,S” works against the parasite Plasmodium falciparum, transmitted by mosquitoes, is the world’s deadliest and most common in Africa. Malaria is a very old disease, known since ancient times. It presents with fever, headache, and muscle aches, then cycles of chills, fever, and sweat. If not treated in time, it can be fatal. Around 90% of the world’s malaria cases are registered in Africa, where 260,000 children die from it every year. Malaria killed 4,170 people in Niger last year and more than 4 million cases were reported.

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According to Djermakoye Hadiza Jackou, coordinator of the National Malaria Control Program in Niger (PNLP), the vaccine is “an opportunity to reduce mortality-morbidity” in children from 0 to 5 years, “which account for more than 50% of cases” and “Almost 60% of deaths”. In their opinion, a combination of the vaccine with other means of prevention, in particular mosquito nets impregnated with insecticides, will make it possible to combat it “at least 75% of malaria cases” in children.

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The world with AFP

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