Ned Nwoko Foundation Partners FG on Deployment of Malaria Vaccine

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Onyebuchi Ezigbo

The Prince Ned Nwoko Foundation said it has entered into an agreement with the Federal Ministry of Health for the nationwide promotion and roll out of newly developed RTS,S malaria vaccine.

As part of the malaria eradication project, the foundation said it was ready to lead other partners in the promotion of the new malaria vaccine which the World Health Organisation (WHO) recently approved for wide-use in countries.

In a statement on Tuesday, the Chairman of Prince Ned Nwoko Foundation, Hon Ned Nwoko, said the Federal Ministry of Health had given its approval following the foundation’s earlier offer to avail its malaria eradication platform for coordination of the national response to implement the RTS,S vaccine in Nigeria.

Nwoko said his was excited about WHO’s approval of the widespread use in countries of RTS,S the world’s first malaria vaccine.

He expressed the readiness of his foundation to join hands with the Ministry of Health and other stakeholders through strategic partnerships to promote and implement the RTS,S malaria vaccine in Nigeria.

Nwoko said: “Earlier in year, the Foundation’s malaria eradication project had submitted a proposal to the Minister of Health offering its support and requesting the Federal Ministry’s green light to lead the proposed roll out of RTS,S Malaria Vaccine Implementation Programme (MVIP) in Nigeria.

“The Minister approved the proposal for the foundation to lead in the anticipated roll-out of the RTS,S vaccine in Nigeria upon approval of the vaccine by the WHO.”

Nwoko lauded the efforts of government and donors in achieving the continued decline in malaria prevalence in the last decade.

He said Nigeria has achieved progressive reductions in malaria prevalence from 42 per cent to 27 per cent and then 23 per cent in three distinct population surveys conducted in children less than five years in 2010, 2015 and 2018 respectively with temporal and geographic variation in the geopolitical zones and states.

He assured that his Foundation, through its Malaria Eradication Project, would continue to support a strong national response to mobilise strategic partnerships and resources towards the RTS,S malaria vaccine programme implementation in Nigeria by effecting appropriate infrastructure upgrade to execute the project.

While urging support of the efforts of government through collaboration for the MVIP following the vaccine’s approval by the WHO, the Foundation urged members of the public and private sector partners to come on board, “as efforts are currently on to establish a strong multi-sector partnership to drive this great process that also requires the optimal use of existing interventions, in addition to the vaccines to deploy a comprehensive package for effective malaria control and eradication.”

Nwoko further expressed belief that Nigeria was the country with the highest malaria burden globally where high impact is needed, a strong local response is urgently required.

He added that such a response would help to achieve targets set in the National Malaria Strategic Plan (NMSP) spanning 2021 to 2025.