Siaya County adopts world’s first malaria vaccine
The Siaya County government has begun to administer the world’s first malaria vaccine.
It will be administered in Gem, Rarieda and Ugenya sub-counties.
Kenya is the third country in Africa to use the malaria vaccine after Malawi and Ghana.
According to the World Health Organisation, the vaccine offers partial protection from the disease.
“Some 360,000 children a year in the three African countries will receive the vaccine as part of a large-scale pilot project, with health ministries in these countries deciding where it will be used,” the report reads.
Siaya County is located within the Lake Victoria region where malaria prevalence rate is highest.
On Thursday, Siaya Director of Public Health Kennedy Orwenjo said malaria prevalence rate in the county stands at 28percent.
The World Health Organization says the Kenyan coastal region has the second highest prevalence rates at 8percent.
The Siaya County Government is however residents to continue using other preventive methods such as treated mosquito nets even as they take up the new vaccine.
WHO guidelines indicate that the vaccine is to be given to children from the age of six months to two years in four stages.
The first vaccination will be given to children at the age of six months, the second one at seven months, the third at 9 months and the fourth at 24 months.
The director also pleaded with the local leadership of Siaya to help them encourage parents to avail their children for such important immunization exercises.
Health Ministry CS Sicily Kariuki said the vaccine will be first rolled out in eight counties with the highest malaria burden and then to the rest of the country.
They are Homabay, Kisumu, Migori, Siaya, Busia, Bungoma, Vihiga, and Kakamega counties.
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