The Beninese government has obtained 215,900 doses of a malaria vaccine, marking a significant step in the fight against one of the most deadly diseases for African children. The vaccines were received at the Cotonou International Airport and are set to be administered starting in February.
Benjamin Hounkpatin, the Beninese Minister of Health, highlighted the collaboration with health sector partners, including the World Health Organisation, the United Nations Children’s Fund, and Gavi, in acquiring the doses. The introduction of the malaria vaccine into the Expanded Programme on Immunisation is considered a major advancement in combating the disease in Benin.
Minister Hounkpatin emphasised that administering the malaria vaccine in highly endemic areas would contribute to disease control and save tens of thousands of lives annually. Malaria remains endemic in Benin and is a leading cause of death among children under five, constituting a significant portion of outpatient consultations and hospital admissions in the country.
The combination of vaccination with other measures to combat malaria, such as the use of insecticide-impregnated bed nets, indoor residual spraying, intermittent preventive treatment for pregnant women, and use of antimalarial drugs will help to significantly reduce malaria-related deaths,” he said.