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The world's first malaria vaccine to go to 360,000 African children

Malawi has begun to vaccinate children under two years, and Kenya and Ghana will start using the vaccine over the next few weeks, with health ministries in those countries deciding where to use it, the WHO said.

The vaccine offers partial protection against the disease, with clinical trials showing that the vaccine prevented about four out of 10 sources of malaria, according to WHO.

"We have seen tremendous gains from bed nets and other measures to combat malaria over the past 15 years, but progress has halted and even reversed in some areas. We need new solutions to get back the malaria response, and This vaccine gives us a promising tool to get there "WHO Director General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in a press release.

"The malaria vaccine has the potential to save tens of thousands of children's lives".

Malaria is a parasitic disease transmitted through the bait of Anopheles mosquitoes. It is both preventable and treatable, but it is estimated that 435,000 people die each year.

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Children under the age of five run the highest risk of their life-threatening complications and, according to the WHO, claim a child's life every two minutes. Most of these deaths are in Africa, where more than 250,000 children die each year from the disease.

The vaccine RTS, S, also known as Mosquirix, was created by researchers at the British Pharmaceutical Giant GSK 1987. It has undergone many years of testing and was supported by many organizations, including PATH, a nonprofit profit organization.
From 2000 to 2015, there was a 62% decrease in malaria deaths, according to WHO, and a decrease of 41% of cases. However, recent data indicate that malaria recurs by 219 million cases in 2017 compared to 217 million in 2016.
"It's a difficult disease to deal with. The tools we have are modest but drugs and insecticides wear out – after 10, 20 years, mosquitoes become resistant, it is a real concern that 2020 [cases] will jump up again, "says Adrian Hill, professor of human genetics and head of the Jenner Institute at Oxford University.

The vaccine will be given in four doses: three doses between five and nine months of age and the fourth dose is provided around the 2nd birthday.

WHO said that the vaccine was a "complementary malaria control tool" to be used in addition to bed networks treated with insecticides, spraying indoor areas with insecticides, and rapid diagnosis and treatment of the disease.

Alena Pance, senior staff researcher at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, said the vaccine was not "overwhelmingly effective".

"But it is very important to remember that 40% protection in the most endemic part of the world, Africa, is better than no protection at all. Finally, this is the only vaccine that has some effect that we currently have and have Taken decades to develop, it's in itself good news, Pance said.

Hill said it had "stopped and started" if it was worth moving on with the vaccine but it would be a useful addition to the fight against the disease. 19659002] He said it would be particularly important to ensure that children received all four doses of the vaccine to maximize efficacy.

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