Malaria vaccine given green light to protect African children

 After years of efforts, a malaria vaccine will finally be able to be distributed to children in Africa, BBC News informed us on October 7. Malaria has been one of the greatest plagues of mankind for millennia and mainly kills babies and toddlers.

Malaria is a deadly parasite . It is spread by mosquito bites and invades our blood cells in order to reproduce. To avoid catching the disease, there are anti-parasite drugs, mosquito nets and insecticides: several methods that have helped reduce the impact of malaria. Yet there are still 230 million cases and 400,000 deaths per year, not to mention that about 95% of the malaria burden is felt in Africa, where more than 260,000 children died of the disease in 2019.

The new vaccine , called RTS , S , is surely one of medicine's greatest success stories. It was proven effective six years ago, after more than a century of research efforts. In Ghana, Kenya and Malawi, pilot vaccination programs have been carried out successfully: the World Health Organization (WHO) therefore believes that the vaccine should be rolled out throughout sub-Saharan Africa .  This is a “  historic moment  ” for Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus , Director-General of WHO.  " The long-awaited malaria vaccine for children is a breakthrough for science, children's health and the fight against malaria, ”he adds . 

The RTS , S vaccine targets Plasmodium falciparum , the deadliest and most prevalent version of malaria in Africa. Indeed, there are more than 100 types of malaria parasites. Pilot trials of the vaccine have been conclusive: the vaccine reduces severe malaria cases by 30%, children requiring blood transfusion by a third, and has no negative impact on other vaccines or preventative measures. A historic achievement in the history of the fight against disease. 

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