3 African countries chosen to test 1st malaria vaccine » Manila Bulletin Lifestyle

Manila Bulletin Philippines

Breaking News from the Nation's leading newspaper

Tempo

Online Newspaper

Showbiz and Celebrity News

Sports News

World News
News Asia

3 African countries chosen to test 1st malaria vaccine

Published

By Associated Press

Three African countries have been chosen to test the world’s first malaria vaccine, the World Health Organization announced Monday. Ghana, Kenya and Malawi will begin piloting the injectable vaccine next year with young children.

FILE - In this Oct. 30, 2009, file photo, a mother holds her baby receiving a new malaria vaccine as part of a trial at the Walter Reed Project Research Center in Kombewa in Western Kenya. The World Health Organization says three African countries have been chosen to test the world's first malaria vaccine. Ghana, Kenya and Malawi will begin piloting the injectable vaccine next year with young children. WHO said Monday, April 24, 2017, that the vaccine has the potential to save tens of thousands of lives if used with existing measures. The challenge is whether impoverished countries can deliver the required four doses of the vaccine for each child. (AP Photo/Karel Prinsloo, File)

In this Oct. 30, 2009, file photo, a mother holds her baby receiving a new malaria vaccine as part of a trial at the Walter Reed Project Research Center in Kombewa in Western Kenya. (AP Photo/Karel Prinsloo, File/ Manila Bulletin)

The vaccine, which has partial effectiveness, has the potential to save tens of thousands of lives if used with existing measures, the WHO regional director for Africa, Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, said in a statement. The challenge is whether impoverished countries can deliver the required four doses of the vaccine for each child.

Malaria infects more than 200 million people worldwide every year and kills about half a million, most of them children in Africa. Bed netting and insecticides are the chief protection.

Sub-Saharan Africa is hardest hit by the disease, with about 90 percent of the world’s cases in 2015. Malaria spreads when a mosquito bites someone already infected, sucks up blood and parasites, and then bites another person.

A global effort to counter malaria has led to a 62 percent cut in deaths between 2000 and 2015, WHO said. But the U.N. agency has said in the past that such estimates are based mostly on modeling and that data is so bad for 31 countries in Africa — including those believed to have the worst outbreaks — that it couldn’t tell if cases have been rising or falling in the last 15 years.

The vaccine will be tested on children five to 17 months old to see whether its protective effects shown so far in clinical trials can hold up under real-life conditions. The vaccine has taken decades of work and hundreds of millions of dollars to develop.

Kenya, Ghana and Malawi were chosen for the vaccine pilot because all have strong prevention and vaccination programs but continue to have high numbers of malaria cases, WHO said. The countries will deliver the vaccine through their existing vaccination programs.

Tags: , , , , ,

Related Posts