You are currently viewing Benin Republic gets first malaria vaccines

Benin Republic gets first malaria vaccines

  • Post author:
  • Post category:Health / News

Benin has received its initial shipment of a malaria vaccine, marking a significant milestone in addressing the primary cause of infant mortality in the country. Officials announced on Monday that the rollout of the vaccine would commence soon.

Health Minister Benjamin Hounkpatin highlighted that “Malaria remains widespread and stands as the leading cause of death among children under the age of five in Benin” during a press briefing at Cotonou airport. The government officially obtained 215,900 doses of the RTS,S vaccine. Hounkpatin added that the first round of vaccinations is scheduled to start “within a few months.” The minister noted that 40 percent of outpatient consultations and 25 percent of hospital admissions in Benin are attributed to malaria.

The vaccine aims to immunize approximately “200,000 children” under the age of two, according to Benin’s Faustin Yao, an immunization specialist at the UNICEF office in Benin. He specified that infants would receive four doses at six months, seven months, nine months, and 18 months.

Benin becomes the third African nation to receive vaccine doses after Cameroon and Sierra Leone, following a pilot phase in Ghana, Kenya, and Malawi. This initiative was coordinated by the World Health Organization and funded by the GAVI Vaccine Alliance, among others.

GAVI reports that over two million children have already been vaccinated in these three African countries, resulting in a “remarkable decline” in mortality rates and a significant reduction in severe malaria cases and hospitalizations.

The World Health Organization notes that nearly every minute, a child under the age of five succumbs to malaria. The disease, transmitted by specific mosquito types, remains a formidable challenge, especially due to its increasing resistance to treatment. In 2021, the WHO recorded 247 million global cases, with 619,000 fatalities, primarily affecting Africa.