Kenya is among three countries that have been selected by the World Health Organisation (WHO) for a pilot of the malaria vaccine in Africa.
The injectable vaccine, known as RTS,S or Mosquirix, is the first of its kind to successfully move to the large scale testing stage.
It has been developed by British pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline in partnership with PATH Malaria Vaccine Initiative.
The pilot of the vaccine, which will also be done in Ghana and Malawi, will start later this year and will inform in-country policies on malaria.
720,000 TO GET WITH MALARIA VACCINE
An estimated 720,000 children in high-risk areas between the age of five and 17 months will be given the vaccine in the next four years (2017-2021).
The malaria vaccine will be administered in four doses; once a month for three months and the fourth dose 18 months later.
MALARIA BURDEN IN KENYA
Malaria continues to be a major cause of morbidity and mortality in Kenya with statics from the Ministry of health indicating that 70 per cent of the population is at risk with children under five years and pregnant women being the most vulnerable.
Kenya was named among countries that accounted for 80 percent of the global malaria burden in 2016 according to the World Malaria Report 2017 WHO.
President Kenyatta has said that malaria eradication is top on Kenya’s universal healthcare goal, which is part of his Big Four Action Plan.