South Sudan bolsters malaria campaign with over 600,000 doses of vaccine

South Sudan bolsters malaria campaign with over 600,000 doses of vaccine

South Sudan bolstered its war against the malaria epidemic after the arrival of 645,000 doses of malaria vaccines to protect the vulnerable populations.

The National Minister for Health, Yolanda Awel, said the distribution of the vaccines will cover 28 counties with the highest malaria burden.

She said this will mark the beginning of a nationwide scale-up plan and it forms a critical part of South Sudan’s broader strategy to treat, prevent, and eventually eradicate malaria.

“The continued use of this vaccine, alongside other preventive measures such as insecticide-treated bed nets and timely access to medical care, will be instrumental in our efforts to eliminate malaria in South Sudan,” said Awel.

The newly introduced R21 malaria vaccine will be administered to children aged five months or older, in a series of four doses. This rollout is a collaborative effort involving the Ministry of Health, Gavi, UNICEF, WHO, and other health partners, signifying a unified front against this deadly disease.

“The expanded availability of malaria vaccines heralds a new chapter in combating this deadly disease, the government’s proactive engagement and the preparedness of our health systems are pivotal in facilitating the successful roll-out of the immunization programme in the country,” said Hamisa Lasseko, UNICEF South Sudan representative.

However, the World Health Organization (WHO) Representative to South Sudan, Dr. Humphrey Karamagi, stressed the significance of this addition to the nation’s healthcare arsenal.

“The introduction of the malaria vaccine is expected to significantly reduce the burden of the disease, complementing existing interventions by the partners and government of the Republic of South Sudan,” he noted.

This strategic vaccination effort is poised to dramatically alter the landscape of malaria prevention and treatment in South Sudan, offering new hope to millions and underscoring the importance of sustained international cooperation in global health initiatives.