With the malaria vaccine entering into the final clinical stages of testing, the African countries can hope for promising success in completely eradicating this life threatening disease that has caused loss of thousands of children in the continent.
Tisungane Mvalo who heads the Malawian trial site states that this vaccine is the right alternative rather than a replacement.
Unfortunately, around 6500 children under the age of five years die in Malawi every year due to this disease. This problem had led to the establishment of the Malawian site which is under the partnership with Institute for Global Health and Infectious diseases of University of North Carolina.
Mvalo stated that the need of the vaccination was growing more pertinent because the use of other alternatives such as bed nests and insecticides were causing very limited success.
‘Effectiveness of RTS,S’
In a major development boosting the health sector of the continent, the trial version of the malarial vaccination RTS,S, which was made by GlaxoSmithKline Biologicals has been the largest trial witnessed by the continent.
Also, the PATH Malaria Vaccine Initiative along with GlaxoSmithKline has helped in developing a research regarding Malaria in Africa in which around 15,000 new born babies are inoculated in 11 new sites in the continent.
Then the infants and children are scrutinised for 36 months to measure the effect of the vaccine and to what level did it help their immunity.
Dr. Christian Loucq, the PATH Director has stated that ‘it’s a very exciting time’. The experimentation of the vaccine models is very important as it would assure a secured feature and greater longevity, he said.
‘Track of Malawi in eradicating malaria’
Malaria prevention programme in Malawi has been undertaken with a lot of seriousness. 98% of the citizens have received the standard vaccines that have been stated by the World Health Organisation.
Thus, with the malaria vaccination passing the final stages, it would definitely create more advantages for the country. It is believed that this vaccine would play a very integral role in fighting against Malaria which has unfortunately been causing death of a child in every 45 seconds.
Also, several organic farmers have criticised the usage of insecticides in eradicating the disease as they eventually prove to harm the crops.
This vaccine would be approved by the WHO by 2015, as stated by Dr. Christian Loucq. Though, he also informed that greater amount of investment in the research is also needed for the development of these vaccines.
Meanwhile, the Malaria Vaccine Initiative is also looking forward to develop more second generation vaccines so that the carriers of the malaria parasite can be eradicated at the very nascent stage itself.