Burkina Faso has officially integrated the first-ever recommended malaria vaccine, RTS,S, endorsed by the World Health Organisation (WHO), into its standard vaccination protocol.
This development means that infants attending health facilities for their regular vaccinations in this West African nation can now benefit from the added protection offered by the malaria vaccine.
The initial phase of the vaccine rollout is focused on nearly 250,000 infants aged between five months and one year across 27 health districts that bear the brunt of malaria’s impact.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), Africa witnesses the loss of 600,000 lives to malaria annually, with children under the age of five accounting for at least 80% of these tragic deaths.
Notably, Cameroon recently achieved a historic milestone by being the first country globally to incorporate this vaccine into its routine immunisation programme.
Encouragingly, more than 15 other African countries are gearing up to follow suit within the year, as reported by the Global Vaccine Alliance (Gavi).