Malaria Vaccine is Finally Approved for Widespread Rollout

Scientists have been working on an effective malaria vaccine for over 30 years and this month the latest iteration, the RTS, S vaccine made by GlaxoSmithKline and largely funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, was approved by the World Health Organization. ( W.H.O.)

Two years ago, clinical trials for the RTS,S vaccine rolled out in Malawi, Kenya and Ghana reaching 800,000 children under five with 2.3 million administered doses. Boasting a strong safety profile according to the W.H.O., the four-dose vaccine that fights against the Plasmodium falciparum parasite from female mosquitoes is advised to begin at five months of age. Scientists and health workers who worked on the clinical trials say the vaccine reduced hospital admission by 30% and “nearly halves the risk of severe malaria over a period of 18 months” according to clinical trial data.

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First Malaria Vaccine Rolls Out in Malawi

It is heartening to see progress in the fight against malaria. Over the past thirty years and with hundreds of millions of dollars invested thus far, the RTS,S malaria vaccine was officially rolled out yesterday in Malawi. In 2017, I wrote about the vaccine trials that began in 2009 and the announcement of the three countries that had been chosen for the vaccine rollout: Kenya, Malawi, and Ghana. In clinical trials, the vaccine was found to prevent approximately 4 in 10 malaria cases, including 3 in 10 cases of life-threatening severe malaria. Now two years later the vaccine is officially in use to curb the unnecessary deaths of hundreds of thousands of African children under the age of five. The Malaria Vaccine Implementation Program will continue through 2022.

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3 Ways You Can Help On World Malaria Day

Today is World Malaria Day. This year’s theme: End Malaria for Good. While 6.8 million malaria deaths were averted between 2000 – 2015, there are still 3.2 billion people who are susceptible to contracting the disease every day and a half million children die from malaria every year.  There is a long way to go to save more lives especially for children under the age … Continue reading 3 Ways You Can Help On World Malaria Day

Three African Countries Chosen for First Malaria Vaccine Trials

For decades, there has been consistent chatter, research, and hope for a potential malaria vaccine. Now, all three are finally coming to fruition to roll out the world’s first clinical malaria vaccine trials. The World Health Organization Regional Office for Africa (WHO/AFRO) announced today that Ghana, Kenya, and Malawi have been chosen for the WHO-coordinated pilot implementation program that will make the world’s first malaria vaccine … Continue reading Three African Countries Chosen for First Malaria Vaccine Trials

Researchers Say Donor Funding Will Make Malaria Drugs More Affordable

Sub-Saharan Africa has the highest burden of malaria sickness and death. In fact, 90 percent of all malaria deaths occur in Africa  according to the World Health Organization. Children under the age of five are particularly susceptible of dying from malaria and adults can be completely debilitated by the infectious disease as it zaps their energy little by little for weeks. It is important, then, that those who live in malaria prone areas have the medicinal options needed to fight off the disease.

Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley and New York University business schools have written a recent paper showing that more donor funding from U.S. multilateral agencies such as the World Bank and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria as well as from foundations like the Clinton Foundation and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation are critical to keeping the price of malaria drugs low for poor people to afford. Buying these Artemisinin Combination Therapies (ACTs) is literally a matter between life and death.

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Malaria Photo by Paolo Patruno

New 6-Year Global Strategy Launches to Further Curb Malaria Deaths

Malaria Photo by Paolo Patruno
Photo: Paolo Patruno www.paolopatrunophoto.org

Since 2001 malaria deaths have fallen by 4.3 million. This is due in part because of a concerted scale-up of malaria prevention and control efforts, especially across sub-Saharan Africa. Increased funding has made this scale-up and global malaria prevention partnerships possible, and yet the funding falls short of the estimated $5.1 billion annually needed to eradicate malaria worldwide.

The President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI) was signed by George W. Bush in 2005. Upon its official launch in 2006, the primary goal of the Initiative was to reduce malaria deaths by 50 percent across 15 hard-hit countries in sub-Saharan Africa where over 90 percent of all malaria deaths occur. Since then, major milestones have been reached. Malaria mortality decreased by 54 percent in the World Health Organization Africa region and also by 58 percent among children under the age of five. This is significant because malaria remains one of the three largest killers of children globally. Malaria prevention funding also rose from $30 million in 2006 to $669 million by 2015. Insecticide treated bednets also rose from 29 percent to 55 percent.

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Researcher Advocates New Way to Develop Malaria Vaccine

Currently there is no effective vaccine to protect against malaria even though the disease kills 600,000 people annually and 3.4 billion people worldwide are at risk of contracting the debilitating and potentially fatal disease. 90 percent of all malaria deaths occur in sub-Saharan Africa according to the World Health Organization. The Malaria Vaccine Technology Roadmap set a strategic goal in 2006 to develop and license a … Continue reading Researcher Advocates New Way to Develop Malaria Vaccine

President’s Malaria Initiative Releases New Report

For those of you who love global health data, the President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI) launched its latest report, the Eighth Annual Report to Congress, last week. Drawing on cumulative country data gathered over the course of fiscal year 2013 as well as over the last eight years when PMI launched we learn pertinent milestones that have been achieved to scale malaria control efforts such as: More than 21 million … Continue reading President’s Malaria Initiative Releases New Report

Malaria No More Launches #MalariaSucks Campaign

As you might know last Friday marked World Malaria Day, a day to encourage the global health community, the private sector, governments, NGOs, and everyday, ordinary people to keep up the fight to help defeat malaria. Every minute a child dies of malaria somewhere in the world, most of whom live in sub-Saharan Africa. In fact, 90% of children who die from malaria live in … Continue reading Malaria No More Launches #MalariaSucks Campaign

New Needle-Free Malaria Test Could Be a Game Changer

One of the most effective advancements in malaria testing has been the rapid diagnostic test. Easy to use and inexpensive it cut the wait time for diagnostics drastically and has made testing and treatment easier for frontline health workers around the world particularly in sub-Saharan Africa where the prevalence of malaria is the highest. In countries like Zambia, for example, malaria treatments are up and … Continue reading New Needle-Free Malaria Test Could Be a Game Changer

Increased International Travel Spurs U.S. Malaria Cases

I travel to many malaria endemic countries and to be completely honest I do not take my malaria medicine as I should. They tend to make me ill, so I just roll the dice and hope for the best. That might not be the smartest thing to do, especially knowing that there has been a marked increase in the number of malaria cases reported in … Continue reading Increased International Travel Spurs U.S. Malaria Cases

[Photos] Inside a Malaria Treatment Center

I have been told enough harrowing personal stories and have read enough reports to understand contracting malaria isn’t a cakewalk. And for children (especially those under the age of five) and expectant mothers malaria can be deadly. Fortunately with rapid diagnosis and malaria treatments children as well as adults can experience speedy recoveries from a disease that is both debilitating and potentially fatal. While in … Continue reading [Photos] Inside a Malaria Treatment Center

Key Tweets from the #MalariaBuzz Twitter Chat

Today the world’s largest NGOs that work to fight malaria hosted an informative Twitter chat about malaria’s devastating effects on women, men, and children as well as facts to stop the spread of the global, 100% preventable disease. Below are key tweets from the daylong chat and relevant infographics from our friends at Jhpiego. You can continue to follow the conversation at #malariabuzz. Continue reading Key Tweets from the #MalariaBuzz Twitter Chat

Take a Minute to #EndMalaria for World Malaria Day

Did you know that a child dies from malaria every minute? That is a pretty startling statistic! Our partner Malaria No More has teamed up with the United Nations Special Envoy for Malaria to kick off the #EndMalaria campaign for World Malaria Day celebrated tomorrow, April 25. The #EndMalaria campaign is an online and mobile effort to get more mosquito nets into hands of people … Continue reading Take a Minute to #EndMalaria for World Malaria Day

Moms Blog About Malaria No More’s Campaign Dream Big for Africa

We are extremely grateful for the blog support about Malaria No More’s “Dream Big for Africa” campaign. Thank you! The Kids are Grown, Now What: Dream Big for Africa Cinnoman Hollow: Dream Big for Africa Blanca from Spain: Dream Big for Africa Sunshine and Sippy Cups: Dream Big for Africa: Easy Way to Do Good and Chance to Win This Mama Cooks: Dream Big for … Continue reading Moms Blog About Malaria No More’s Campaign Dream Big for Africa