Kenya to participate in pilot study of malaria vaccine

Dr. Waqo


NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 5 – Kenya has been shortlisted among countries where a pilot study for a Malaria vaccine will be conducted.

While making the announcement on Tuesday, Head of the National Malaria Control Programme Dr. Waqo Ejersa explained that the RTSS vaccine had shown very promising results in children between the ages of five and 17 months.

Dr. Ejersa added that the World Health Organisation had granted the go ahead for the vaccine’s pilot implementation, after Kenya applied to be included in the study.

“The pilot studies are promising and there is light at the end of the tunnel. However, we are still waiting for details such as the date of implementation and number of participants,” he said.

The vaccine will be crucial to Kenya’s efforts to further reduce the Malaria burden given that 20 percent of child deaths in the country are attributed to the disease.

Dr. Ejersa, who was speaking to journalists after the launch of the Kenya Malaria Indicator Survey 2015, had earlier intimated that the country would reduce its malarial prevalence rate to four percent by 2018.

“The first survey was done in 2007 and this is the third survey. A total 7,313 households were sampled,” he observed.

Acting Director of Medical Services Dr. Jackson Kioko had earlier indicated that 90 percent of children in Kenya currently received the recommended malaria medicine compared to 50 percent observed in 2010.

“This achievement is very close to the national target of 100 percent but we still have some work to do,” he said.

According to the survey, 56 percent of children under five currently slept under treated mosquito nets compared to 39 percent in 2010.

“In households that have adequate treated mosquito nets, the use is 88 percent and this shows that we need to ensure continued availability of nets at household level,” added Dr. Kioko.