Anambra State Government has announced its readiness to become one of the first states in Nigeria to receive the new R21/Matrix-Malaria vaccine, with necessary facilities already in place.

Dr. Afam Obidike, the state’s Commissioner for Health, revealed this during a press conference commemorating World Malaria Day, themed “Accelerate the fight against malaria for a more equitable world.”

Represented by Dr. Afam Anaeme, Director of Public Health, Obidike emphasized Governor Chukwuma Soludo’s commitment to combatting malaria in the state, highlighting the approval and recommendation of the R21/Matrix-M vaccine for malaria prevention in children aged five to 36 months.

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Obidike stated, “The World Health Organisation (WHO), Gavi, and partners are poised to support Nigeria and other countries in introducing the malaria vaccine, overseen by the Federal Ministry of Health.”

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He added that Governor Soludo had urged stakeholders to prioritize Anambra in accessing the vaccine, with arrangements made to ensure the state is among the first to receive it.

The Commissioner noted the state government’s efforts in reducing malaria incidences, citing the distribution of 3.8 million mosquito nets in 2022 in partnership with the Malaria Consortium, resulting in increased net usage. Additionally, Anambra achieved high rates of fever testing and treatment for confirmed malaria cases, along with providing preventive medication to pregnant women.

Obidike expressed gratitude to WHO and the Malaria Consortium for their support, while Dr. Bonos Mohammed, State Coordinator of WHO, pledged continued assistance to improve healthcare indicators in the state.

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