Malaria Vaccine Gets Pilot Testing

WHO to test first malaria vaccine in Africa next year

WHO to test first malaria vaccine in Africa next year

Insecticide-treated nets have had the greatest impact, accounting for an estimated 69 percent of cases prevented through control tools.

The immunisation cycle is not in sync with routine childhood inoculations against diseases such as hepatitis, measles and meningitis, with injections required at five months, six months, seven months and two years.

Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, the World Health Organization regional director for Africa, said: "The prospect of a malaria vaccine is great news". The majority were young children in Africa.

Most of the progress has been attributed to improved deployment of malaria control interventions, including enhanced access to artemisinin based combination therapy and the proper use of insecticide treated mosquito nets.

Some targeted prevention approaches have been adopted by countries as policy, but the actual uptake has been slow. But, as Alonso explains, preventative measures are not reaching everyone.

Efforts to stop the spread of malaria - which ultimately affects about 200 million people each year - include employing bed netting and using insecticide against the mosquitoes that carry it, according to ABC News.

The pilot scheme will involve immunizing 360,000 children across the three countries between 2018 and 2020, AFP reported.

The World Malaria Report 2016 has revealed a decreasing trend between the period 2010 and 2015.

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Although other regions have made considerable increases in their malaria responses, the disease remains a major health threat for the people.

The news comes as a welcome one, as over 429,000 people lost their lives to the mosquito-borne illness in 2015, and hundreds of millions get sick with a malaria infection every year, while some never fully recover.

According to the WHO's World Malaria Report, published at the end of past year, the number of cases of malaria worldwide decreased by 21 percent between 2010 and 2015. "Today we are urging countries and partners to accelerate the pace of action, especially in low-income countries with a high malaria burden".

"Information gathered in the pilot will help us make decisions on the wider use of the vaccine", Matshidiso Moeti, the WHO's African regional director, said.

The countries will deliver the vaccine through their existing vaccination programmes.

At the Malaria Day celebration in 2016, the Ministry of Health (MOH) announced that Belize was on target to meet its regional commitments to achieve a 99 percent reduction in Malaria cases.

Africa is the continent that sees the highest number of malaria cases.

Sinnis was meeting with other malaria researchers to talk about the latest scientific advances in vaccine development. The organization pledges to continue assessing the safety and effectiveness of the vaccination, which has the potential to save tens of thousands of lives.