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Over 286,253 children to get free Malaria Marklate

HomeHealthOver 286,253 children to get free Malaria Marklate

Over 286,253 children to get free Malaria Marklate

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The Ministry of Health in collaboration with its partners on April this year will roll-out free Malaria Marklate in fifteen district in Sierra Leone, excluding Western Area Urban.

Progranmme Manager of the Expanded Programme on Immunisation, Desmond Maada Kangbai, said they are targeting at least 80% of over 286,253 surviving infants in fifteen selected districts with 4 doses of the malaria vaccine, adding that the introduction age cohort of the vaccine is at 6 months, which means only children at age 6 months at the time of the introduction/roll-out will be eligible for the first dose of the vaccine/marklate.

The EPI Manager reiterated that the Malaria vaccine roll-out/introduction is part of the country’s comprehensive strategies to reduce infant and child mortality, adding that the goal is to reduce morbidity and mortality of malaria among children under-five years in Sierra Leone.

“The Malaria Vaccine/Marklate is safe effective and Free. It is prequalified by the WHO and approved by the Pharmacy Board of Sierra Leone. It has also been administered to children in other countries and proven to be safe and effective with no life threatening outcome”.  Dr. Kangbai assured the public.

“The Malaria Vaccine/Marklate if taken at the right doses (4 doses: 6 months, 7 months, 8 months & 18 months) and at the right schedule can protects children from malaria, limiting the risks and incidence of morbidity and mortality as a result of severe malaria in children”.  Dr. Kangbai Assured.

Talking about the specific objectives and expected outcome of the Malaria vaccine-roll-out, Dr. Kangbai stated that the aim is to increase access to reach zero dose children in hard-to-reach communities as well as increasing coverage of other routine vaccines/services as a driving force for improved uptake.

He also added that this is an opportunity to reduce the dropout rate between Measles-Rubella 1 and Measles-Rubella 2 as the 4th dose of the malaria vaccine will be administered at 18 months which will be used as catch up opportunity for Measles-Rubella 2.

Talking about health strengthening, Dr. Kangbai added that the malaria vaccine roll-out will also strengthen the provision of other health services at facility level thereby creating more opportunity for caregiver/parents to visit the health facility for healthcare services, especially routine immunization as well as other malaria interventions like Insecticide Treated Mosquito Nets (ITNs),  Intermittent Preventive Treatment in Infants (IPTi), Intermittent Preventive Treatment in Pregnancy (IPTp) and nutrition services like vitamin A and deworming.

 

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