Nation

WHO recommends groundbreaking malaria vaccine for children at risk

By Jasleen Kaur -- October 07, 2021 2:33 pm -- Updated:October 07, 2021 2:45 pm

The World Health Organization (WHO) has recommended widespread use of the RTS,S/AS01 (RTS,S) malaria vaccine among children in sub-Saharan Africa and in other regions with moderate to high P. falciparum malaria transmission.

The recommendation is based on results from an ongoing pilot programme in Ghana, Kenya and Malawi that has reached more than 8,00,000 children since 2019, a WHO press release said.

UoH researchers decode malaria - The Hindu BusinessLine

Also read | Lakhimpur Kheri: Punjab, Chhattisgarh announce Rs 50 lakh each to families four farmers, journalist

"This is a historic moment. The long-awaited malaria vaccine for children is a breakthrough for science, child health and malaria control," WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said. "Using this vaccine on top of existing tools to prevent malaria could save tens of thousands of young lives each year," he added.

Malaria remains a primary cause of childhood illness and death in sub-Saharan Africa. More than 2,60,000 African children under the age of five die from malaria annually.

Also read | Punjab: 12 IAS, five PCS officers transferred

In recent years, the WHO and its partners have been reporting a stagnation in progress against the deadly disease. "For centuries, malaria has stalked sub-Saharan Africa, causing immense personal suffering," said Dr Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa.

New malaria vaccine is undergoing Phase 1 trials but current results show it provides strong and long-lasting protection

"We have long hoped for an effective malaria vaccine and now for the first time ever, we have such a vaccine recommended for widespread use. Today's recommendation offers a glimmer of hope for the continent which shoulders the heaviest burden of the disease and we expect many more African children to be protected from malaria and grow into healthy adults," Dr Moeti said.

The recommendation is based on the advice of two WHO global advisory bodies, one for immunisation and the other for malaria.

WHO declares the outbreak of the new coronavirus is a pandemic - The Verge

"The WHO recommends that in the context of comprehensive malaria control, the RTS,S/AS01 malaria vaccine be used for the prevention of P falciparum malaria in children living in regions with moderate to high transmission as defined by WHO. RTS,S/AS01 malaria vaccine should be provided in a schedule of four doses in children from five months of age for the reduction of malaria disease and burden," the release said.

-PTC News with inputs from ANI

  • Share