The World Health Organization (WHO) is bringing the first malaria vaccine to Africa as part of a large-scale project to aid a continent that has 92% of the known cases. The WHO on Tuesday announced it would send the new malaria vaccine to three different countries.

Malawi was the first country to receive the vaccine and has already been vaccinating children under 2 years old. Kenya and Ghana will be the next two countries to receive the vaccine. It will be up to the health ministries of these countries to determine the areas where the vaccine is sent first.

According to the WHO, children under the age of five are most susceptible to malaria, with Africa being a focal point. More than 250,000 African children die from malaria each year. The WHO has also been concerned about a possible rise in cases, with 219 million confirmed cases in 2017, up 2 million from 217 million cases in 2016.

The WHO has also been keen to point out that the vaccine offers partial protection. Early clinical tests found that the vaccine prevented four of 10 possible malaria cases.

WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus praised the vaccine's launch.

"We have seen tremendous gains from bed nets and other measures to control malaria in the last 15 years, but progress has stalled and even reversed in some areas," said Ghebreyesus in a press release. "We need new solutions to get the malaria response back on track, and this vaccine gives us a promising tool to get there. The malaria vaccine has the potential to save tens of thousands of children's lives."