WHO recommends groundbreaking ‘Worlds first’ Malaria vaccine

The WHO (World Health Organisation) is recommending the use of a  groundbreaking ‘Worlds first Malaria vaccine.

The WHO said today, Wednesday, October 6, that the only approved vaccine against Malaria should be widely given to African children, potentially marking a major advance against a disease that kills hundreds of thousands of people annually.

The WHO  is recommending the use of RTS,S – or Mosquirix – a ‘world first’ vaccine developed by British drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline. The vaccine, which went through lengthy clinical trials, has limited efficacy, preventing 39% of malaria cases and 29% of severe malaria cases among small children in Africa over four years of trials.

“This is a historic moment. The long-awaited malaria vaccine for children is a breakthrough for science, child health and malaria control. Using this vaccine on top of existing tools to prevent malaria could save tens of thousands of young lives each year,” said WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

“I started my career as a malaria researcher, and I longed for the day that we would have an effective vaccine against this ancient and terrible disease. And today is that day, a historic day. Today, the WHO is recommending the broad use of the world’s first malaria vaccine,” Tedros said at a press conference in Geneva.

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The organisation had warned a few years ago that progress against malaria had continued to plateau, particularly in high burden countries in Africa.

“Gaps in access to life-saving tools are undermining global efforts to curb the disease, and the Covid-19 pandemic is expected to set back the fight even further,” said the WHO.

In 2019, the global tally of malaria cases was 229 million, an annual estimate that has remained virtually unchanged over the last 4 years. The disease claimed some 409 000 lives in 2019 compared to 411 000 in 2018.

 


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Ron Howells

Ron actually started his working career as an Ophthalmic Technician- things changed when, during a band rehearsal, his amplifier blew up and he couldn’t get it fixed so he took a course at Birmingham University and ended up doing a degree course. He built up a chain of electronics stores and sold them as a franchise over 35 years ago. After five years touring the world Ron decided to move to Spain with his wife and son, a place they had visited over the years, and only bought the villa they live in because it has a guitar-shaped swimming pool!. Playing the guitar since the age of 7, he can often be seen, (and heard!) at beach bars and clubs along the length of the coast. He has always been interested in the news and constantly thrives to present his articles in an interesting and engaging way.

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