World’s First Malaria Vaccine Launched In Malawi
The World Health Organisation (WHO) is set to roll out the world’s first malaria vaccine in Malawi.
According to the director-general of WHO, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the RTS,S vaccine, is a new response solution that promises to reduce the menace of the epidemic which is known to be one of the world’s leading killers, claiming the life of one child every two minutes.
WHO further stated that the vaccine which will be made available to children between 5 months and 2-years-old is expected to strengthen their immune system to attack the malaria parasite, which is spread by mosquito bites.
“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. 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.”
Meanwhile, the vaccine has been tested to prevent about four in 10 malaria cases among children and “overall, there were 29 percent fewer cases of severe malaria in children who received the vaccine.”
“Malaria is a constant threat in the African communities where this vaccine will be given. The poorest children suffer the most and are at highest risk of death,” said Matshidiso Moeti, WHO regional director for Africa.
“We know the power of vaccines to prevent killer diseases and reach children, including those who may not have immediate access to the doctors, nurses and health facilities they need to save them when severe illness comes.
“This is a day to celebrate as we begin to learn more about what this tool can do to change the trajectory of malaria through childhood vaccination.”
The health organization also said the vaccine will be tested in Ghana and Kenya in the coming weeks.