April 25th marks the world malaria Day across the world. The 2019 World Malaria Day brings a call to help prevent malaria: ‘Zero malaria starts with me’. Malaria kills over 400,000 people every year, and over 60% of the affected individuals are children.
Though Malaria exists in 103 countries worldwide, affecting 3.3 Billion people, but about 90% of malaria-related deaths occur in sub-Saharan Africa. The acute febrile illness (malaria) is caused by Plasmodium parasites. The parasites are spread to people through the bites of infected female Anopheles mosquitoes, called “malaria vectors.” There are 5 parasite species that cause malaria in humans, and 2 of these species – P. falciparum and P. vivax – pose the greatest threat.
Over time there has been a significant reduction on the death rate caused by malaria due to the medical development, yet the death rate barely has fallen halfway. After much trial, the Malaria vaccine comes into play given the medical field a better way to fight malaria and reduce the death rate.
The first-ever malaria vaccine was approved in the year 2015, the RTS, S, known as Mosquirix was not recommended to babies between 6 and 12 weeks of age by the World Health Organization (WHO) due to its low efficacy.
World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in a press less that the Government of Malawi’s as started the pilot launch of the world’s first malaria vaccine Programme. Malawi is the first of three countries in Africa in which the vaccine, known as RTS, S, will be made available to children up to 2 years of age; Ghana and Kenya will also be introducing the vaccine in the coming weeks.
“We have seen tremendous gains from bed nets and other measures to control malaria in the last 15 years, but progress has stalled and even reversed in some areas. We need new solutions to get the malaria response back on track, and this vaccine gives us a promising tool to get there,” WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in a press release announcing the project. “The malaria vaccine has the potential to save tens of thousands of children’s lives.”