Health workers in Machinga have described the ongoing Malaria Vaccination Programme as a game-changer in the fight against malaria in the district.
Machinga is one of the districts benefiting from the programme, which the Malawi Government and development partners such as PATH Organization are implementing through the Expanded Programme on Immunization (EPI).
Speaking to journalists on a tour to the districts on the EPI programme, Disease Control Surveillance Assistant at Mlomba Health Centre, Patrick Makaika, applauded the government for the routine vaccination campaign, saying it has boosted the fight against the disease.
Makaika disclosed that cases of malaria infection have significantly gone down since the programme rolled out in the district.
“The percentage of malaria cases is now going down since we started this exercise. We can attribute this to the availability of resources that are required for the administration of all vaccines starting from the first dose to the forth one,” he said.
But Makaika expressed concern over inconsistency in the administration of the vaccines.
He said after the first dose, it takes close to 22 months to administer the second dose.
Cecilia Kamgwegwe, Health Surveillance Assistant at Machinga District Hospital, commended parents for bringing their children forward to get vaccinated.
“We have hope that as we go along the numbers will also be increasing, as right now we do have outreach meetings with other under five clinics that are outside this facility, and the response is also positive,” said Kamgwegwe.
One of the parents, Rose Nyadank from Chimela Village in Traditional Authority (T/A) Nsanama, urged her fellow parents to ignore myths and misconceptions surrounding vaccines.