GAVI, the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization, announced yesterday that it will provide $155.7 million to countries in Sub-Saharan Africa for the procurement and delivery of malaria vaccines beginning in 2022.

GAVI’s board of directors also recognized the importance of integrating and strengthening the primary health care system, according to a statement released in Abuja.

“The board’s historic approval of a malaria vaccine program and funding will give African countries a critical new tool in the fight against malaria.”

“The board noted that a successful malaria vaccine program should support deliberate and intensive coordination between malaria control and immunisation programs at global and country levels to ensure the most impactful deployment of the vaccine alongside other interventions,” with an initial investment of approximately $155.7 million for 2022-2025.

“Child immunisation can help advance the equity agenda by reaching vulnerable children who are not reached by bed nets or other existing prevention measures.” Finally, the Board noted the need for market-shaping efforts to support the development of a healthy malaria vaccine market, as well as opportunities for next-generation vaccines.”

According to GAVI’s CEO, Seth Berkley, the organization’s decision to fund the vaccination program will save many lives each year.

“Today marks an important milestone in our fight against malaria,” Berkley said. The Gavi Board’s decision to fund a new malaria vaccination program for Sub-Saharan African countries could save tens of thousands of lives each year in Africa.”

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“The vaccine, in addition to other interventions such as routine use of insecticide-treated bed nets, indoor insecticide spraying, malaria chemoprevention, and timely testing and treatment, is an important additional tool for controlling malaria in Africa.”

He went on to say that the organization was looking forward to working with global malaria stakeholders to ensure that countries could implement the new tool in the fight against malaria.

“After significant gains in the last two decades, malaria control has stalled, and new tools are urgently needed to get back on track,” he continued. Malaria kills over 260,000 African children under the age of five every year, with six Gavi-eligible countries accounting for half of global mortality.”

“Africa continues to bear the heaviest malaria burden, and African children are at the highest risk of dying from malaria, particularly as the COVID-19 pandemic threatens immunisation programs.”

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