WHILE at the African Union Abuja +12 Special Summit on HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis earlier this month, Dr Robert Newman of the Global Malaria Programme for the World Health Organisation (WHO) announced that the world’s first malaria vaccine could be available as early as 2015.
Although deaths from the disease have been significantly reduced in the past decade (some reports say they are down as much as a third since 2000), the WHO’s latest estimate reported 660,000 malaria deaths (in 2010), 90% of which occurred in sub-Saharan Africa, primarily among children.
The complexity of the malaria parasite has made development of a vaccine problematic. But finally, with trials under way at 11 sites in seven African countries, the RLTSS vaccine, said Newman, is showing promising results.
But not everyone is willing to wait another three years....
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