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Kenya Expands Malaria Vaccination To 25 Additional Sub-Counties.

Kenya Expands Malaria Vaccination To 25 Additional Sub-Counties.

Nairobi (Kenya) March 7, 2023 
 Kenya has expanded its malaria vaccination program to 25 additional sub-counties in the lake endemic regions, which is a significant step in the fight against malaria. 
In a speech read by the Ministry of Health Director General, Dr. Patrick Amoth, during the launch in Vihiga county today, the Cabinet Secretary Dr. Nakhumicha S. Wafula, stated that "The move will ensure that more children benefit from the additional and complementary intervention against malaria." 
The Ministry of Health in collaboration with the county governments and partners has intensified the fight against malaria through various methods, such as the scale-up of insecticide-treated mosquito nets, indoor residual spraying, appropriate diagnosis and treatment, using artemisinin-based combination therapies and prevention of malaria during pregnancy.
Since the phased introduction of the malaria vaccine in 2019, close to 400,000 children have been vaccinated in the lake endemic counties of Kisumu, Kakamega, Siaya, Homabay, Migori, Busia, Bungoma, and Vihiga, with Vihiga County recording at least 25,000 vaccinated children. 
The vaccination has led to a substantial reduction in severe malaria, child hospitalizations, and child deaths in these areas. The 2020 Kenya Malaria Indicator Survey showed a reduced malaria prevalence over the past ten years, with national malaria prevalence dropping from 11% in 2010 to 6 % in 2020, and a drop in the lake endemic region from 27% in 2015 to 19% in 2020.
Following WHO's recommendation in October 2021, the Kenya National Immunization Technical Advisory Group (KENITAG) recommended the expansion of malaria vaccination within Kenya’s lake-endemic region in counties with moderate to high P. falciparum malaria transmission. 
The Ministry of Health is expanding malaria vaccination to an additional 133,000 infants annually in the lake endemic region counties, with the vaccine available at no cost in all the immunizing health facilities within the 51 sub-counties. The vaccine is given in four doses at 6 months, 7 months, 9 months, and 24 months and has been shown to be safe and effective in reducing severe, life-threatening malaria.
The expansion of Kenya's malaria vaccination program is a significant step in the fight against malaria. It complements the existing methods and efforts in malaria prevention and control, and with more children benefiting from the vaccination, the country can hope to see a further reduction in malaria-related deaths and illnesses. 
The Ministry of Health urges all caregivers in the lake endemic regions to bring their children to receive this malaria vaccine where it is available and complete all four required doses to get the best protection from the vaccine.
Vihiga County Governor,  Wilber Otichilo also attended the event.