What is malaria?
Malaria is a serious tropical disease spread by mosquitoes, if it isn't diagnosed and treated in a fast time then this could be fatal. A single bite from a mosquito is all it takes for someone to be infected. If you do get infected some of the symptoms are fever, headaches, vomiting, muscle pains, and diarrhea. These usually appear between 7 and 18 days after being bitten. Although this can sometimes appear for a year or longer. Some population groups are at more risk such as infants, children under 5 years of age, pregnant women and patients with HIV/AIDS.
Ghana is one of three African nations to be involved in the global pilot program to roll out the world's first malaria vaccine to infants who are more at risk. This also includes Kenya where it launched in September and Malawi where the first injections were delivered in April. Here are some facts below:
28% decrease in global malaria deaths since 2010
$3.1 billion dollars invested in malaria control and elimination efforts in 2017
50% of the at-risk population sleeping under insecticide-treated mosquito nets
However, this is not a straight forward solution and the vaccine should be used along with other prevention methods such as the insecticide-treated mosquito nets and indoor spraying with insecticide. There are other prevention methods such as applying insect repellent to exposed skin and spraying repellent on clothing as mosquitoes may bite through thin clothing.
The vaccine works by four successive doses that must be administered at six, seven, nine and 24 months. This might cause a problem if there is poor access to clinics, especially in rural communities.