Malaria Vaccine To Be Tested In Parts Of Africa

Malaria is caused by Plasmodium parasites that are spread to people through the bites of infected Anopheles mosquito vectors. And, if all goes well, the new malaria vaccine will affect children in the best possible way: By saving tens of thousands of lives when used in conjunction with other, existing preventive measures. "These pilot projects will provide the evidence we need from real-life settings to make informed decisions on whether to deploy the vaccine on a wide scale", said Dr. Pedro Alonso, Director of the WHO Global Malaria Programme said in November 2016. The vaccine needs to be administered in four stages - once a month for three months, then the fourth dose 18 months later. While the vaccine has achieved some success in tightly controlled laboratory experiments, researchers are unsure whether this will translate into effective control in the real world, which is why they are only running the pilot in three countries to begin with.

This is why it's vital to run pilot programs in three countries to see if an entire malaria vaccine program could even become functional.

The researchers are conducting the testing to assess the effectiveness of the vaccine and also to determine the feasibility of the vaccine's delivery to the populations which are most at risk.

According to World Health Organization figures, there are still 212 million new cases of malaria each year and 429,000 deaths despite huge progress.

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Malaria has been a problem for humans for over 2,000 years, and still kills in high numbers; 429,000 people-most of them children-died from the mosquito-borne disease in 2015.

Sub-Saharan Africa is hardest hit by the disease, with about 90% of the world's cases in 2015.

This is because the vaccine requires an intensive treatment program.

The government is battling malaria drug thefts in most public hospitals which are exclusively donated by the USA government. Other regions have made substantial gains in their malaria responses, but the disease remains a major public health threat.

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The organisation said the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis would provide 15 million dollars and up to 27.5 million dollars and 9.6 million dollars respectively from the Global Vaccine Alliance and United Nations global health initiative for the first four years of the programme.

A child is given an injection as part of a malaria vaccine trial at a clinic in the Kenya coastal town of Kilifi, on November 23, 2010. She argued that the data which was collected during the pilot program is bound to help the organization decide upon the wider use of the new vaccine.

The GlaxoSmithKline developed the first malaria vaccine and it will test it in 3 African countries.

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