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Three African countries chosen to test world's first malaria vaccine in 2018

Posted: 24 April, 2017 at 04:55 pm
Three African countries chosen to test worlds first malaria vaccine in 2018
Three African Countries Chosen To Test Worlds First Malaria Vaccine In 2018 Photo 1

Ghana, Kenya and Malawi will pilot the world's first malaria vaccine from 2018

The injectable vaccine called “Mosquirix” will be offered to babies and children in high-risk areas as part of real-life trials

The World Health Organisation said in a staatement on Monday that the injectable vaccine is called “Mosquirix”.

The WHO said the vaccines was developed by British drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) to protect children from the most deadly form of malaria in Africa.

The WHO said Malawi, Kenya and Ghana were chosen for the pilot due to several factors, including having high rates of malaria as well as good malaria programmes, wide use of bed-nets, and well-functioning immunisation programmes.

In clinical trials it proved only partially effective, and it needs to be given in a four-dose schedule, but is the first regulator-approved vaccine against the mosquito-borne disease.

The WHO, which is in the process of assessing whether to add the shot to core package of WHO-recommended measures for malaria prevention, has said it first wants to see the results of on-the-ground testing in a pilot programme.

“Information gathered in the pilot will help us make decisions on the wider use of this vaccine,” Matshidiso Moeti, WHO African regional director, said in a statement as the three pilot countries were announced.

“Combined with existing malaria interventions, such a vaccine would have the potential to save tens of thousands of lives in Africa.”

It will also assess the feasibility of delivering the four doses needed, and explore the vaccine's potential role in reducing the number of children killed by the disease.

The UN organisation said each of the three countries will decide on the districts and regions to be included in the pilots.

It also said high malaria areas will get priority since these are where experts expect to see most benefit from the use of the vaccine.

“Mosquirix” was developed by GSK in partnership with the non-profit PATH Malaria Vaccine Initiative and part-funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Malaria kills around 430,000 people a year, the vast majority of them babies and young children in sub-Saharan Africa.

Global efforts in the last 15 years cut the malaria death toll by 62 per cent between 2000 and 2015.

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