President Bio launches malaria vaccine on world malaria day

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President Bio inspecting one of the vaccine boots

By Yusufu S. Bangura

President Julius Maada Bio, alongside the Ministry of Health, unveiled the Malaria Vaccine at State House during the World Malaria Day commemoration.

This milestone marks a significant advancement in the ongoing fight against malaria, particularly impacting the nation’s children.

In his address, President Bio emphasized the collaborative effort with international partners, underscoring the devastating impact of malaria on communities across Sierra Leone.

He expressed hope for a new chapter in combating this preventable and treatable disease, noting Sierra Leone’s pioneering role in introducing the malaria vaccine.

Highlighting the grim reality of malaria’s toll on the country’s population, President Bio outlined comprehensive measures implemented over the past six years to control and prevent malaria. These efforts include free diagnostic testing and treatment, distribution of insecticide-treated bed nets, and targeted vaccination campaigns.

President Bio reported a significant reduction in malaria cases among children under five years old, attributing this progress to concerted interventions.

He also announced the receipt of 550,000 vaccine doses, which will be administered to over 286,000 children under two years old across 15 districts with high malaria prevalence rates.

Affirming the government’s commitment to enhancing healthcare delivery infrastructure, President Bio stressed the importance of individual actions such as sleeping under treated mosquito nets and receiving preventive treatment.

Acting Minister of Health and Sanitation, Professor Charles Senessie, reiterated the focus on children’s health within healthcare delivery strategies. He emphasized the urgency of continued investment and political commitment to malaria prevention and control efforts.

The event saw statements from international partners, including the World Health Organization, the United States Ambassador, UNICEF, CHAI, and the private sector, underlining the collective effort needed to accelerate the fight against malaria and achieve the goal of ending it by 2030.

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