The World Health Organization (WHO) has recommended a new vaccine, R21/Matrix-M, for the prevention of malaria in children.
The recommendation follows advice from the WHO: Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunization (SAGE) and the Malaria Policy Advisory Group (MPAG) and was endorsed by the WHO Director-General following its regular biannual meeting held on 25-29 September.
“Demand for the RTS,S vaccine far exceeds supply, so this second vaccine is a vital additional tool to protect more children faster, and to bring us closer to our vision of a malaria-free future,” said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General.
According to the WHO news release, in areas with highly seasonal malaria transmission (where malaria transmission is largely limited to 4 or 5 months per year), the R21 vaccine was shown to reduce symptomatic cases of malaria by 75% during the 12 months following a 3-dose series.
Meanwhile, some doctors in the country asked World Health Organization to implement this vaccine in Afghanistan, in order to eliminate malaria.
“The cases of this illness will decrease in our country if the Word Health Organization provides this vaccine to Afghanistan and South Asian countries,” said Madad Khan Danishwar, a doctor.
“In my opinion it is a very positive step. By the passage of time, they can provide this vaccine to those who are above five, in addition to providing it to those children who are under five,” said Faridullah Omari, another doctor.
Malaria is a lethal illness that mostly affects tropical and subtropical areas.
Nangarhar is one of the eastern provinces of the country, in which some cases of malaria were recorded in 2022.
Some residents of Nangarhar asked the Ministry of Public Health to take steps in preventing this illness in this province.
“The weather is warm in Nangarhar, and people are also poor and they cannot afford to buy mosquito netting,” said Amanullah, a resident of Nangarhar.
“It will be very good if mosquito nets are provided to the people and vaccine is available for this illness the same as Corona virus,” said Reyaz, another resident of Nangarhar.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the estimated number of malaria deaths stood at 619,000 in 2021.