Mozambique to introduce vaccination against Malaria in June


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Writes Charles Mangwiro

MAPUTO (Mozambique) Mozambique could begin the Malaria vaccine in June as part of a strategic bid to reduce deaths from the mosquito-transmitted disease which killed 356 people last year alone out of 13.2 million cases.

Mozambique’s Health Minister, Armindo Tiago, said the vaccine was approved by the World Health Organization in October last year, after being developed in the United Kingdom.

“We hope that, if everything goes well, in June this year we will be able to introduce the malaria vaccine in our country, which will start in the central province of Zambézia, with the aim of expanding to the remaining ten provinces in 2025. It is a new tool that will join with those already in progress”, Tiago said in Maputo on Thursday when speaking at the celebrations of World Day to Fight Malaria.

This year, the celebrations of World Malaria Day are marked under the motto “Promoting access to health services, gender equity, and human rights to end malaria”.

Malaria is endemic in Mozambique and the entire population is at risk of contracting the disease. Pregnant women and children under the age of five have the greatest risk of developing severe malaria.

Poor access to prevention measures and poor environmental sanitation are behind the increase in cases of the disease in Mozambique, a country of 31 million people with a depleted health network.

The Minister of Health also highlighted the misuse of mosquito nets as another factor that contributes to the incidence of malaria in the country, especially in areas whose populations are disadvantaged.

“The most disadvantaged population is disproportionately affected, as their homes offer less protection against mosquitoes, in addition to having limited access to health services and information on prevention, diagnosis, and timely treatment.”

Data from the Health sector indicates that Mozambique is the fourth country with the most cases of Malaria in the world.

With vaccination, the aim is to eliminate the disease by 2030.

Data from the Ministry of Health indicates an increase in cases and a reduction in deaths from 2022 to 2023.

In 2022, 12.4 million cases were registered compared to 13.2 last year, which had 336 deaths compared to 422 reported in the previous year.

Malaria is one of the deadliest diseases in Africa, killing almost 500,000 children under the age of 5 every year, and the continent recorded, in 2022, approximately 95 percent of the world’s cases of malaria and 96% of deaths from the disease.