The World Health Organization (WHO) has asked the Malawian government to consider adopting the new typhoid vaccine called Typbar-TCV as the new routine treatment for the disease.
According to WHO Malawi representative Aziza Mwisongo, typhoid remains highly endemic in Malawi with more than 16,000 being reported annually.
She attributed the high prevalence rate of the disease to drug resistance. In Malawi, an estimated 64 percent of typhoid cases and 67 percent of typhoid deaths occur among children under 15 years of age.
“While typhoid is rarely fatal, the recovery process is long and difficult. The disease costs time, money and productivity because it is associated with numerous long-term medical complications,” she said.
The Typbar-TCV is believed to be a more effective solution that offers longer lasting protection and requires fewer doses. It reduces the need for antibiotics and slows down the further emergence of drug-resistant typhoid strains.
Mwisongo said the Typbar-TCV is suited for children from age 6 months above and can protect all age groups for up to 3 years.
“In Malawi, TyVAC and project partners are studying how well TCVs prevent typhoid among children aged between 9 months and 12 years of age, as well as the safety, impact and cost factors of the vaccine.
“While the WHO already recommends TCV introduction in all typhoid epidemic countries, this additional evidence will help inform ongoing decisions about TCV vaccination in low and middle income countries,” said Mwisongo.