Borno NARD president, residents hail malaria vaccine breakthrough

 Dr Abubakar Kaka-Sanda, the  Borno branch President of Nigeria Association of Resident Doctors (NARD),
has lauded the announcement of malaria vaccine by World Health Organisation (WHO), which he described as a welcome development.

Kaka-Sanda told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Maiduguri on Thursday that “a vaccine against malaria known as a killer disease with high mortality, particularly among children in Africa is something worth celebrating.”

He, therefore, urged states and Federal Government to start early mobilisation of the public on the vaccine to address the issue of vaccine phobia.

He said “government needs to start early public enlightenment on the vaccine so that whenever it is available, there will be no issue of phobia.”

He also reacted to the just suspended NARD strike, saying “doctors are all back and attending to patients in hospitals.

“Our members are at their respective duty posts offering the best we can.”

Maryam Audu, a woman living in Maiduguri, seen at the Borno Specialists Hospital whose two children were diagnosed of malaria, described
the development as a welcome one.

She said “if we have vaccine for malaria, I can assure you that more children will survive till adulthood.

“Most cases affecting children is malaria and that’s why some mothers in Borno have problem with polio vaccination officials .

“We use to tell immunisation officials that the problem of our children is malaria and they should not be bothering us with polio immunisation.

“We are really  looking foward to the malaria vaccine.”

Tijjani Mohammed and Asmau Isa and Janet Ezekiel, all living in Maiduguri, also said they heard the news and hope it would be a dream come true.

Ezekiel said “70 per cent of illness affecting my family members has to do with malaria.  If malaria can be contained in Nigeria, I can say
that we have solved a major problem.”The World Health Organisation (WHO) has recommended widespread use of the RTS,S/AS01 (RTS,S) malaria vaccine among children in sub-Saharan Africa and in other regions with moderate to high P. falciparum malaria transmission.The recommendation is based on results from an ongoing pilot program

me in Ghana, Kenya and Malawi that has reached more than 800,000 children since 2019.The WHO Director-General, Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus, said “this is a historic moment. The long-awaited malaria vaccine for children is a breakthrough for science,
child health and malaria control.“Using this vaccine on top of existing  tools to prevent malaria could save tens of thousands of young lives each year.”

He added that malaria remained a primary cause of childhood illness and death in sub-Saharan Africa, noting that more than 260,000 African children
under the age of five die from malaria annually. (NAN)