The House of Representatives Committee on HIV and AIDS, Malaria Control, Tuberculosis and Leprosy, has advised that the newly discovered malaria vaccine be tested on Nigerians for efficacy.
The committee chairman, Dr Joseph Kigbu, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Monday in Abuja, said he has had reports that the vaccine did not offer full protection.
He said that the fact that the clinical trial of the vaccine proved effective in one country did not mean that it would work in other countries.
“It is said that the vaccine offers only about 50 per cent protection, if it offers about 50 per cent, then that is not good enough. “We ask the question, has it been tested on the Nigerian population.
“When you have a drug or you go to the market for mass production, you want to try it on your population.
“If you try it on the Kenyan population and it works, it does not mean it will work on the Nigerian population, these are the areas we are asking questions,’’ he said.
Kigbu, however, applauded the discovery of the vaccine, saying that it would fast track efforts put in place to eliminate malaria.He advised that further research should be conducted on the vaccine to increase its efficacy to 98 per cent, like the polio vaccine.
The chairman said that Nigeria had adopted environmental sanitation as an effective strategy to get rid of mosquito vectors. He said the most effective strategy for controlling mosquitoes was the indoor residual spraying, saying; however, the method was expensive.
Kigbu said that not less than 60 million long lasting insecticide treated nets had been distributed in Nigeria. He called on the Federal Government to increase its financial commitment for the elimination of malaria in the country.