Two years ago, Malawi became the first country in the world to introduce the malaria vaccine into its childhood immunization programme, followed by Ghana and then Kenya. The vaccine was introduced in a phased approach that targeted 11 districts in Malawi.
Globally, more than half of childhood deaths occur in Africa, and malaria is a major cause of death. In January 2016, the World Health Organization (WHO) recommended pilot implementation of the RTS,S malaria vaccine in children to use alongside other malaria control interventions in settings of moderate-to-high parasite transmission. The malaria vaccine is the first and, to date, the only vaccine that can significantly reduce malaria in children.