Ned Nwoko Foundation says it is excited by WHO’s approval of the widespread use in countries of RTSS, the world’s first malaria vaccine.
The Prince Ned Nwoko Foundation malaria eradication project is to join other partners in the nationwide promotion and roll out of RTS’S, the new malaria vaccine which the World Health Organization (WHO) recently approved for wide-use in countries.
The Federal Ministry of Health gave the approval following the Foundation’s earlier offer to avail its malaria eradication platform for coordination of the national response to implement the RTSS vaccine in Nigeria.
In a statement on Tuesday, Ned Nwoko, the chairman of Prince Ned Nwoko Foundation, expressed excitement with the WHO’s approval of the widespread use in countries of RTSS, the world’s first malaria vaccine.
He expressed the readiness of his foundation to join hands with the Ministry of Health and other stakeholders through strategic partnerships to promote and implement the RTSS malaria vaccine in Nigeria.
Earlier this year, the Prince Ned Nwoko Foundation malaria eradication project submitted a proposal to the Minister of Health, offering its support and requesting the Federal Ministry’s green light to lead the proposed roll out of RTSS Malaria Vaccine Implementation Programme (MVIP) in Nigeria.
The minister approved the proposal by the Foundation. The Foundation thanked the Federal Ministry of Health for the anticipatory approval of its lead role in the malaria vaccine roll out months before the vaccine’s recommendation by the WHO for large-scale implementation in countries.
It lauded the efforts of government and donors in achieving the continued decline in malaria prevalence in the last decade while noting that Nigeria has achieved progressive reductions in malaria prevalence from 42 per cent to 27 per cent and then 23 per cent in three distinct population surveys conducted in children less than 5 years in 2010, 2015 and 2018 respectively with temporal and geographic variation in the geopolitical zones and states.
The statement assured that the Prince Ned Nwoko Foundation, through its Malaria Eradication Project, would continue to support a strong national response to mobilise strategic partnerships and resources towards the RTS,S malaria vaccine programme implementation in Nigeria by effecting appropriate infrastructure upgrade to execute the project.
While urging support of the efforts of government through collaboration for the MVIP following the vaccine’s approval by the WHO, the Foundation called on the public and private sector partners to come on board. It said efforts are currently being made to establish a strong multi-sector partnership to drive the process that also requires the optimal use of existing interventions, in addition to the vaccines, to deploy a comprehensive package for effective malaria control and eradication.
The Foundation said with Nigeria as the country with the highest malaria burden globally, a strong local response is urgently required. It said such a response would help to achieve the targets set in the National Malaria Strategic Plan (NMSP) spanning 2021 to 2025.
Last month, the Foundation collaborated with the WHO to co-host a virtual sideline event tagged Global Action for a Malaria Free Africa (GAMFA) during this year’s United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York, United States (USA).
The aim was to discuss the critical need of accelerating not just the control and elimination but eradication of malaria in Nigeria and Africa.
The Foundation, along with the relevant stakeholders with her technical team, shall establish the RTSS MVIP Action Committee (RMAC) to lead the implementation process in Nigeria.
The Prince Ned Nwoko Foundation (PNNF) is a Non-governmental Organisation with headquarters in Abuja.