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Malaria vaccine targets 240,000 children

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The government has approved anti-malaria vaccine results of a study University of North Carolina (UNC) Project Malawi championed in Lilongwe recently.

The government is now expected to roll out anti-malaria vaccination campaign, which targets 240,000 children in five districts of the country.

UNC Project Malawi Country Director, Innocent Mofolo, said on Saturday that the vaccination initiative follows successful trials the project conducted on 1,600 children in Lilongwe.

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Mofolo said the trials have enabled researchers and scientists to identify targets that reduce the parasite’s ability to invade red blood cells of the human body.

He was speaking at Mtsiriza Full Primary School in Lilongwe on the sidelines of a community sensitisation and mobilisation awareness campaign around the activities of the project and its relation with Community Advisory Boards (Cabs).

UNC Project Malawi is working with Cabs, comprising people living with HIV, those participating in clinical trials, traditional, civic, religious and political leaders and representatives of groups with special needs such as women and youth.

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“We conducted malaria research in Area 18, Lilongwe, where we recruited 1,600 children. Results of that research indicated that the malaria vaccine is, indeed, working. Now, the government will be taking up that vaccine and, by the third quarter of this year, we look forward to vaccinating 240,000 children,” Mofolo said.

Cabs Chairperson, Rabson Ramoka Kaunda, said stakeholders have been balancing the needs of community members with scientific goals with the aim of addressing challenges such as HIV and Aids and malaria.

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