World: World Health Organisation – WHO has given the nod for the intake of ‘Mosquirix’ (RTS, S/AS01) world’s first malaria vaccine against P. falciparum malaria transmission.
WHO gave the recommendation on the basis of results from an ongoing pilot programme in – Ghana, Kenya and Malawi that has reached over 800 000 children since the year 2019.
Malaria remains a major cause of the childhood illness and death in sub-Saharan Africa. More than 260 000 African children under the age of five die from malaria annually. While a child loses life to malaria every two minutes.
The international organisation recommends that RTS, S/AS01 vaccine should be provided in a schedule of 4 doses to the children from 5 months of age for the reduction of malaria disease and burden.
WHO further stated that the pilot programme revealed that more than two-thirds of children in the 3 countries who are not sleeping under a bednet are benefitting from the RTS,S vaccine.
WHO Director-General – Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus stating it as a historic moment cited that, “This is a historic moment. Much long-awaited malaria vaccine for children is a breakthrough for science, child health and malaria control.”
“By the utilisation of this vaccine on top of existing tools to block malaria can save ‘tens of thousands’ of young lives every year.”
On the other hand, Dr Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa stated that for the centuries, malaria hunted the sub-Saharan Africa region and that further led to the immense personal suffering situation.
Following the statement, Dr Moeti asserted, “We have long hoped and waited for an ‘effective malaria vaccine’ and now for the first time, we are having such a vaccine, recommended for worldwide use.”
“Today’s recommendation offers a ‘glimmer of hope’ for the continent which shoulders the heaviest burden of the disease & we expect many more African children to be protected from malaria and grow into healthy adults.”
‘Plasmodium falciparum’ is one of five malaria parasite species and the most deadly.