By Doh James Sonkey
The first consignment of anti-malaria vaccines supplied by Gavi and supported by the United Kingdom were received in Camereoon by Public Health Minister, Dr Manaouda Malachie last November 21, 2023 at Nsimalen International Airport near Yaounde.
Receiving the 331 000 doses of anti-malaria vaccines, Dr Manaouda Malachie thanked on behalf of the President of the Republic, the British High Commissioner, representatives of the World Health Organization, WHO, the United Nations International Children Emergency Fund, UNICEF and Gavi Alliance for working for the availability of the doses of the anti-malaria vaccines in Cameroon.
The Public Health boss reassured that the vaccines will be made available to the 42 health districts suffering from the malaria burden.
He said ‘‘Cameroon is honoured to receive the vaccines after the testing phase carried out in some countries. It is historical and unique for the protection of vulnerable children from 6 to 24 months concerned with these vaccines. These vaccines are administered in 4 doses. The first at 6 months, second at 7 months, third at 9 months and fouth at 24 months.’’
Malaria remains a deadliest disease in Africa where it kills more than half a million children of less than 5 years each year. Statistics in 2021 show that 95 % malaria cases and 96 % of malaria deaths in the world are registered in Africa.
In Cameroon, 6 million malaria cases are recorded each year for 4000 deaths with mostly children of less than 5 years old. Despite a drop of 18% in 2019 to 13,5% recorded in the national malaria surveillance, malaria remains a major health problem in Cameroon.
Dr Manaouda Malachie declared to reporters that Cameroon remains attentive to the contribution of any partners in order to enable the 202 health districts equipped with the vaccine.