The World Health Organization(WHO) has recently approved a malaria vaccine and announced that it could be immediately used in Africa for African children who are more vulnerable to malaria.
"RTS,S/AS01 malaria vaccine should be provided in a schedule of 4 doses in children from 5 months of age for the reduction of malaria disease and burden." the World Health body released last week.
Young students and school children remain a primary victim of Malaria that causes childhood illness and death in sub-Saharan Africa where more than 260 000 African children under the age of five die from malaria annually according to the WHO.
Citing statistics of last year (2020/2021), he said about 40 percent of the people that were killed by malaria in Rwanda were children under the age of five.
Locally, statistics indicate that 96 people succumbed to malaria in 2020/2021 and 37 of these were children under the age of 5.
Meanwhile, students and young children who reached out to The Campus shared their views, testimonies and insights about the launch of the vaccine and malaria.
Innocent Uwishimwe, a primary five student said it is good that a vaccine has been found, at least many children would have survived if it has been discovered before.
Pascaline Niyogisubizo, a 13-year-old girl, said she did not know what Malaria was until they moved from Northern province, Rulindo district to Nyagatare where he was diagnosed with Malaria.
"While we were in Rulindo, I did not know that malaria existed, but I suffered from it when we arrived in Nyagatare, so I was taken to a doctor," Pascaline said. "I am now happy that the malaria vaccine has been found, so I will have to tell the parents to let us vaccinate."
“I have suffered malaria many times since my childhood and it was very dangerous as I used to vomit, losing weight, and so on. So it is better that the vaccine is going to protect children against Malaria.” Janvier Musoni, a student said.
Not only do young children see the vaccine as a solution, but also some adults continue to say that the whole world has found a solution.
In his speech, Armel Abizera, who works at the Red Cross, was pleased with the outbreak of the malaria vaccine and encouraged parents to urgently vaccinate their children as soon as the opportunity arises.
“So if a vaccine is available for Malaria, I would say to all Rwandan parents, as long as you can get vaccinations for your children, definitely vaccinate them. That is what we need more now.” Abizeera said.
The good news has come after the Rwanda Biomedical Center (RBC) recently announced that the number of malaria cases has dropped by 5 million in the last five years due to various domestic strategies to combat it
The government of Rwanda has set various measures aimed at eradicating malaria by 2024, which will be achieved when the houses of the entire population are equipped with mosquito repellent ( anti-malaria drugs), sleeping under mosquito nets for the entire population and using health counselors to treat the population and many other measures have been taken.
Statistics show that in the whole world, malaria kills more than 400,000 people every year and two-thirds of them (about 260,000) are African children.