WHO Approved The Very First Vaccine to Prevent Malaria

A major advance. The World Health Organization approved, Wednesday, October 6, the very first vaccine to prevent malaria. This vaccine could save the lives of tens of thousands of children around the world every year.

This vaccine, manufactured by the British laboratory GlaxoSmithKline, aims to fight against the disease which kills around half a million people each year, almost all in sub-Saharan Africa, including 260,000 children under the age of 5.

“This is a historic moment. The long-awaited malaria vaccine for children is a breakthrough for science, child health and the fight against malaria,” said WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, quoted in A press release.

Sub-Saharan Africa very concerned
Malaria, which is spread through mosquito bites, is one of the oldest known and deadliest infectious diseases. It kills around half a million people each year, almost all of them in sub-Saharan Africa, including 260,000 children under the age of five.

“For centuries, malaria has haunted sub-Saharan Africa, causing immense personal suffering,” said Matshidiso Moeti, WHO regional director for Africa.

The new RTS, S vaccine, made by GlaxoSmithKline, stimulates a child’s immune system to thwart Plasmodium falciparum, the deadliest of the five malaria pathogens and the most common in Africa. The vaccine is not only a first for malaria: it is the first developed for a parasitic disease.

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Summary

A major advance. The World Health Organization approved, Wednesday, October 6, the very first vaccine to prevent malaria. This vaccine could save the lives of tens of thousands of children around the world every year.

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