GENEVA: The World Health Organization (WHO) yesterday approved the world’s first malaria vaccine, which has been tested in three African countries since 2019: Ghana, Kenya and Malawi.
The malaria vaccine has been used in more than 2.3 million African children in large-scale pilot trials, with excellent results.
Malaria is one of the deadliest diseases in the world caused by a parasite “Plasmodium falciparum” found in the substance of Anopheles mosquito which is transmitted to human blood by the bite of this substance.
According to the World Health Organization, malaria affected 229 million people worldwide in 2019, of which 470,000 died. Most of them were minors.
The malaria vaccine, technically RTS, S / AS01 and the trade name “Mosquirix”, was developed by the British pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline.
The head of the World Health Organization (WHO), Dr. Tedros Adhanom Gabrias, says the vaccine has been developed by African scientists in Africa, which is a matter of pride.
The full course of Muscovarks consists of four doses of small injections given to children from 6 weeks to 17 months. Each such injection contains 0.5 ml of the drug.
The first three doses of the malaria vaccine have an interval of 30 days, while the fourth dose is given 18 months later.
The vaccine was developed in 1987, but after 34 years of testing, it was approved 34 years later.
The effectiveness of this malaria vaccine is only about 30%, meaning that it can reduce the number of malaria cases and deaths by up to 30%.
According to the World Health Organization, even a 30 per cent reduction in malaria cases and deaths in Africa would be tantamount to saving 8 million people from the disease and about 1.5 million from dying.
However, in view of the dangerous and deadly epidemic of malaria in African children, the World Health Organization has approved the vaccine for children up to five years of age.
It is only effective against Plasmodium falciparum parasitic malaria, which is the leading cause of illness and death from malaria in most parts of the world, except Africa.
The other parasite, Plasmodium vivax, is not effective against malaria.