by Aishwarya Radhakrishnan on  April 24, 2017 at 5:39 PM Tropical Disease News
Africa to Get World's First Malaria Vaccine
The world's first malaria vaccine will be piloted in three African countries-Ghana,Kenya and Malawi. It was announced by the World Health Organisation (WHO) that this would start in 2018.

The RTS,S vaccine needs to be administered four times,once a month for three consecutive months and the fourth dose is to be given 18 months later.

WHO has been quoted by the BBC saying that the RTS,S vaccine trains the immune system to attack the malarial parasite,which is spread by mosquito bites.

This has been achieved in tightly controlled and well-funded clinical trials, but it is not yet clear if it can be done in areas where access to health care is limited, the WHO said.

It is why the UN organisation is running pilots in three countries to see if a full malaria vaccine programme could be started.

It will also continue to assess the safety and effectiveness of the vaccination, reports the BBC.

Matshidiso Moeti, the WHO regional director for Africa, said: "Combined with existing malaria interventions, such a vaccine would have the potential to save tens of thousands of lives in Africa."

Ghana, Kenya and Malawi were chosen because they already run large programmes to tackle malaria, including the use of bed nets, yet still have high numbers of cases.

Despite huge progress, there are still 212 million new cases of malaria each year and 429,000 deaths, according to WHO figures.

Africa is the hardest hit and most of the deaths are mostly among children.

Source: IANS

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