World's first malaria vaccine
The World Health Organization (WHO) has recommended the use of the first-ever malaria vaccine for children. WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus endorsed the RTS,S/AS01 malaria or Mosquirix - a vaccine developed by British drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline (GSK).
- Many vaccines exist against viruses and bacteria but this was the first time that the WHO recommended broad use of a vaccine against a human parasite.
- The vaccine acts against plasmodium falciparum -- one of five parasite species and the most deadly.
- The symptoms of malaria are--fever, headaches, and muscle pain, then cycles of chills, fever, and sweating.
- The Vaccine was recommending children in sub-Saharan Africa and in other regions with moderate to high malaria transmission get four doses up to the age of two.
- Malaria claims the lives of more than 400,000 people every year. Children account for 67% of all malaria deaths worldwide, according to the WHO.
Countries that have eliminated malaria
- Globally, the elimination net is widening, with more countries moving towards the goal of zero malaria. In 2019, 27 countries reported fewer than 100 indigenous cases of the disease, up from 6 countries in 2000.
- Countries that have achieved at least 3 consecutive years of zero indigenous cases of malaria are eligible to apply for the WHO certification of malaria elimination.
- Over the last two decades, 11 countries have been certified by the WHO Director-General as malaria-free: United Arab Emirates (2007), Morocco (2010), Turkmenistan (2010), Armenia (2011), Sri Lanka (2016), Kyrgyzstan (2016), Paraguay (2018), Uzbekistan (2018), Algeria (2019), Argentina (2019), and El Salvador (2021).