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Wednesday, May 22, 2024
HEALTH.

Malaria vaccine reaches more than one million children in Africa

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More than one million children in Ghana, Kenya and Malawi have now received at least one dose of the first malaria vaccine.

Data provided by the UN’s World Health Organisation suggests that the pilot programme launched in April 2019 was safe and “substantially reduced severe cases” of the disease.

The “RTS,S” vaccine could save the lives of 40,000 to 80,000 children per year in sub-Saharan Africa and high-risk areas.

The new vaccine works against the mosquito-borne parasite, Plasmodium Falciparum, the most deadly parasite worldwide and the most prevalent in Africa.

About 90% of the world’s malaria cases are in Africa, where 260,000 children die each year.

Malaria is a very old disease and it can be fatal if not treated in time.

More than $155 million has been mobilised by the Vaccine Alliance (Gavi) to enable the delivery of these vaccines.

World Malaria Day is marked on April 25th.