THE announcement by the World Health Organisation (WHO) that it has recommended widespread use of malaria vaccines among children in sub-Saharan Africa and other high malaria-burden regions is a huge scientific breakthrough.
With more than 260 000 African children under the age of five succumbing to malaria annually, the disease has burdened many countries, Zimbabwe included.
Children are mostly at risk, as evidenced by empirical evidence — often sidelined — yet malaria remains a primary cause of childhood illness and death in sub-Saharan Africa.
In recent years, WHO and its partners have been reporting stagnation in progress against the deadly disease and the new announcement will give countries a chance to tone down the adverse effects of malaria and take control.
But Zimbabwe, experiencing COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy, will have a tough job ahead, that of creating awareness of the new development so that malaria vaccination cannot suffer the same fate.
The Health ministry and partners should immediately reach out to communities spreading the gospel in order to halt speculation and ultimately vaccine hesitancy.- NewsDay