Around 360,000 children in Africa are expected to receive the vaccine.
The World Health Organization (WHO) is set to provide the world’s first malaria vaccine to three African countries. The pilot project has recently started in Malawi, and will follow in Kenya and Ghana in the coming weeks.
According to WHO, children below the age of five have been the most vulnerable to malaria. The disease claims one child every two minutes and is most apparent in Africa where over 250,000 children die from it.
The vaccine is known as Mosquirix and has undergone decades of testing. Because of this vaccine, there has been 62 % reduction in malaria deaths from 2000 to 2015 and a 41 percent decrease in the number of cases.
This comes at a crucial time when data show that malaria has reportedly affected over 219 million in 2017 as opposed to the 217 million in 2016.
Adrian Hill, a professor of human genetics at the University of Oxford, says: “It’s a difficult disease to deal with. The tools we have are modestly effective but drugs and insecticides wear out — after 10, 20 years mosquitoes become resistant. There’s a real concern that in 2020s, [cases] are going to jump back up again.”
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