Saturday, October 23, 2021

WHO endorses broader use of World’s first Malaria vaccine

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The World Health Organisation (WHO) has first time endorsed a malaria vaccine for broader use, a wire service reported.

The vaccine is first against the mosquito-borne disease that kills more than 400,000 people a year, most of its victims are African children.

The WHO decision followed a review of a pilot programme in Ghana, Kenya and Malawi, where more than two million doses of the vaccine were given since 2019.

After reviewing evidence of the vaccine programme, the WHO recommended “the broad use of the world’s first malaria vaccine”, the agency’s director general, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said.

The WHO said in a statement it was recommending the widespread application of the vaccine among children in sub-Saharan Africa and in other regions with moderate to high malaria transmission.

This is the first time that the WHO has recommended the broad use of a vaccine against a human parasite.

“From a scientific perspective, this is a massive breakthrough,” said Pedro Alonso, director of the WHO Global Malaria Programme.

The vaccine acts against plasmodium falciparum — one of five parasite species and the most deadly.

According to the WHO, a child dies of malaria every two minutes.

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