Academic journal article Bulletin of the World Health Organization

Malaria Vaccine Pilot

Academic journal article Bulletin of the World Health Organization

Malaria Vaccine Pilot

Article excerpt

Children in three sub-Saharan African countries will receive the world's first malaria vaccine next year as part of a pilot programme, for which WHO recently secured funding.

Three global health funding agencies committed resources to cover the costs of the first phase of the pilot. Last year Gavi, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, and UNITAID approved up to US$ 27.5 million, US$ 15 million, and US$ 9.6 million, respectively, for the first four years of the six-year programme.

The pilot programme will be a collaborative effort between WHO, health ministries in the participating countries, the Programme for Appropriate Technologies in Health, (PATH), and other partners. The countries where the pilot will take place will be announced in early 2017.

The vaccine, known as RTS,S, acts against Plasmodium falciparum, the most prevalent malaria parasite in Africa and the most lethal malaria parasite worldwide, responsible for an estimated 426 000 malaria deaths every year.

The vaccine will be assessed as a complement to the existing package of WHO-recommended malaria preventive, diagnostic and treatment measures.

The pilot programme will evaluate three things: the feasibility of delivering the required four doses of RTS,S through the routine immunization programme; the impact of RTS,S on the number of lives saved; and the safety of the vaccine when it is used routinely. …

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