WHO welcomes the launch of the World's First Malaria Vaccine Program in Malawi in a landmark pilot program. The country is the first of three in Africa where the vaccine, known as RTS, S, will be provided to children up to two years; Ghana and Kenya will introduce the vaccine in the coming weeks.
Malaria is still one of the world's leading killers, claiming a baby every two minutes. Most of these deaths are in Africa, where more than 250,000 children die every year from the disease. Children under the age of 5 are at greatest risk for life-threatening complications. Worldwide, 435,000 people die of malaria every year, most of them children.
"We have seen tremendous gains from bed nets and other malaria control measures over the past 1
A milestone in innovation, three decades in development
After thirty years, RTS, S is the first and to date the only one. A vaccine that has proven to significantly reduce malaria in children. In clinical trials, the vaccine has been shown to prevent about 4 out of 10 malaria cases, including 3 out of 10 life-threatening severe malaria
"Malaria is a constant threat in the African communities where this vaccine is administered. The poorest children suffer the most and have the highest risk of death, "said Drs. Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa. "We know the power of vaccines to prevent killer diseases and to reach out to children, including those who may not have immediate access to the doctors, nurses and health care facilities they need to rescue them when a serious illness occurs."
"This is a day to celebrate as we begin to learn more about what this tool can do to change the trajectory of malaria through childhood vaccinations," she added.
To provide evidence and experience to inform WHO policy recommendations on wider use of the RTS S malaria vaccine, the study investigates the reduction of child mortality, including vaccine intake, including the question of whether or not parents can bring their children in time for the four required doses and vaccine safety in the context of routine use.
The vaccine Substance is a complementary malaria control instrument to be added to the core package of WHO recommended malaria prevention measures, including the routine use of insecticide-treated bed nets. Insecticide spraying and timely use of malaria tests and treatments.
A Model Public-Private Partnership
The WHO co-ordinated pilot program is collaboration with health ministries in Ghana, Kenya and Malawi and a number of national and international partners, including PATH, a non-profit organization, and GSK, the vaccine developer and manufacturer that donates up to 10 million doses of vaccine for this pilot project.
"We welcome WHO and Malawi for their leadership role, Steve Davis, President and CEO of PATH," and we look forward to starting vaccination in Ghana later this year in Kenya. A malaria vaccine is one of many innovations needed to stop this disease. We are proud to move with all countries and our many partners on the way to a world without malaria. "
The pilot for malaria vaccines aims to reach about 360,000 children each year in the three countries. Ministries of health determine where the vaccine is administered; They focus on areas of moderate to high malaria transmission where the vaccine can have the greatest impact.
"Delivering the world's first malaria vaccine will help reduce the burden of one of the world's most pressing health challenges. This novel tool is the result of collaboration between GSK employees and their partners who have used the latest vaccine research findings to combat malaria, "said Drs. Thomas Breuer, Chief Medical Officer of GSK Vaccines. "We look forward to the results of the pilot and work in parallel with the WHO and PATH to ensure that the vaccine will affect global health in the future."
Funding and Support
Funding for the pilot program has been mobilized through unprecedented collaboration between three major global health funding bodies: Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance; the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria; and Unitaid. In addition, WHO, PATH and GSK provide benefits in kind.
Seth Berkley, CEO of Gavi
"Malaria is still one of the biggest killers of children worldwide Every year more than 200,000 children die. These pilots will be critical to the role that this vaccine can play in reducing the burden this disease continues to have on the world's poorest countries. "
Lelio Marmora, Executive Director of Unitaid
" The Malaria Vaccine is an Exciting Innovation This complements the efforts of the global health community to end the malaria epidemic. It is also a shining example of the kind of coordination between the authorities we need. We look forward to learning how the vaccine can be most effectively integrated into our work. "
Peter Sands, Executive Director of the Global Fund
" To step up the fight against malaria, we need every tool available. If this pilot shows that RTS, S is a cost effective antimalarial drug, it will help us save more lives for children.
Notes to Editors:
- Pilot Countries : At the request of the WHO for expressions of interest, the pilot countries from 10 African countries were selected. The main selection criteria included well-functioning malaria and vaccination programs and areas with moderate to high malaria transmission.
- Proven Results : In Phase 3 studies performed in Africa between 2009 and 2014, children receiving 4 doses of RTS experienced significant reductions in malaria compared to those who did not receive RTS and malaria-related complications, S. The vaccine prevented 4 out of 10 cases of clinical malaria; 3 out of 10 cases of severe malaria; and 6 out of 10 cases of severe malaria anemia are the most common reason children die from malaria. Significant reductions were also observed in overall hospital admissions and in the need for blood transfusions required to treat severe malaria anemia. These and other benefits complement those already provided by the use of insecticide-treated nets (bed nets); prompt diagnosis; and effective antimalarial treatment.
- Child Inoculation Schedule : In selected regions of the three countries, the vaccine is given in 4 doses: 3 doses from 5 to 9 months of age and the fourth dose is given by 2. nd birthday.