In Africa, more than a million children have been vaccinated against malaria

Published on: 21/04/2022 – 21:14 More than one million children in Ghana, Kenya and Malawi have now received, thanks to a pilot programme, at least one dose of the first antimalarial vaccine. congratulated the World Health Organization (WHO) on Thursday. Through a pilot program, more than one million African children have received at least one dose of the first malaria vaccine. Malaria vaccinations, first launched in April 2019 in Malawi, followed by Kenya and Ghana, demonstrated that the “RTS,S” vaccine was safe and “substantially reduced severe cases” of the disease, assured the World Health Organization (WHO) on Thursday April 21 in a press release issued before the Day fight against malaria (April 25). This observation had led the WHO, as early as October 2021, to recommend the massive deployment of this vaccine in children living in sub-Saharan Africa and in areas at risk, likely to save the life of 40,000 to 80,000 African children per year. More than 155 million dollars have been mobilized by the Vaccine Alliance (Gavi) to enable the delivery of these vaccines, specifies the text. “This vaccine is not just a scientific breakthrough, it is a life change for families across the African continent,” said Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director General of the WHO, in the press release, while stressing the “urgent need to develop better and more tools to save lives and move towards a world without malaria”. A first step towards other vaccinesThe “RTS,S”, manufactured by the British pharmaceutical giant GSK, is “a first generation vaccine, which could be supplemented in the future by other vaccines in the similar or greater efficacy,” the organization said, welcoming progress in the development of other serums and new treatments. Funding for research and development in the fight against malaria was just over 619 million dollars s in 2020. It will need an average of 851 million dollars per year over the period 2021-2030, the press release still indicates. The “RTS,S” acts against the parasite “plasmodium falciparum”, transmitted by mosquitoes, the deadliest on a global scale and the most prevalent in Africa. A very old disease, reported since antiquity, malaria is manifested by fever, headaches and muscle pains then by cycles of chills, fever and sweat. If not treated in time, it can be fatal. About 90% of malaria cases in the world are recorded in Africa, where 260,000 children die of it each year. With AFP