The First Malaria Vaccine
Monday, April 16th
Every year there are about 216 million cases of malaria in the world, with around 780,000 deaths, most of them African children. But is there hope for solving this problem?
In the last ten years, deaths caused by malaria in Africa have decreased by one third. Mosquito nets have proven to be not only effective, but a cost-efficient way to prevent infection (only $10) and recently, a potential vaccine has presented some promising results.
This new vaccine was developed by GlaxoSmithKline and is being called RTS,S or Mosquirix. It is still in the trial stages, but has already shown to cut the risk of developing malaria in half.
However, while RTS,S is a promising new advancement, it isn’t a cure; and getting the vaccine fully tested and approved will not be a quick process. They plan on at least two more years before the vaccine will become fully available. In the meantime, some threatening new developments have been discovered on the border of Thailand and Burma.
Recently, scientists have found a strain of malaria, which was once thought to be more benign than others, that is resistant to drugs. One of the main concerns is that other than RTS,S, which is a preventative measure, not a treatment, “…we don’t have any back-up drugs in the development pipeline” (Francois Nosten, director of the Shoklo Malaria Research Unit).
So what can we do?
The truth is, the progress being made, while great, is a delicate thing. Andrew Mitchell, the UK Development Secretary says, "An effective, long-lasting and cost-effective vaccine would make a major contribution to malaria control…but we must not lose sight of the fact that over 2,000 people die from malaria every day and they need help now.” If we want to see the end to the problem of malaria, if we want to help prevent the spread of this deadly new strain, we need to continue to do what we can. We need to buy time for scientists to get the vaccine out into the public and to find new solutions to the resistant malaria strain because, in the meantime, children are dying.
The fastest, simplest way to defend a child from malaria is to provide him or her with a mosquito net. You can purchase a mosquito net and protect a child for just $10!
Click below to read more about the new strain of Malaria:
Click below to read more about the new vaccine:
View All News
View Archived News
Childcare Worldwide (CCW), formerly, Childcare International (CCI) is a registered 501(c)3 non-profit organization. Contributions are fully tax deductible.