Kenya: After 30 years of searching, the world receives the first malaria vaccine

The incredible work of the Kenya Medical Research Institute (Kemri) and the contribution of children in Kericho, Kisumu and Kilifi have finally paid off and brought the world their first malaria vaccine.

This comes after the World Health Organization (WHO) officially announced on Wednesday that the vaccination, known as RTS, S (Mosquirix), will be released following a decision by the Strategic Advisory Group of Experts in Immunization (SAGE) and the Malaria Policy Advisory Group ( MPAG.)) Decided to support the widespread use of the jab after the trials in Kenya, Ghana and Malawi.

In 2019, Kenya became the third country to accept clinical trials of malaria vaccines.

The trade name of the vaccine is Mosquirix and was jointly developed by GlaxoSmithKline, a British pharmaceutical company, PATH and the African research institutes.

Historic day

According to WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, this is a “historic day” as it took 30 years for the vaccine to bear fruit.

“We still have a long way to go. But that’s a long way to go.

“The malaria vaccine is a gift to the world, but its value will be felt most in Africa, where the malaria burden is greatest.

“I am grateful to the researchers in Africa who provided the data and knowledge that influenced this decision – this is a vaccine that was developed in Africa by African scientists.

“Malaria has been with us for millennia, and the dream of a malaria vaccine is a long-cherished, but impossible dream.

“Today the RTS-S malaria vaccine – more than 30 years in development – is changing the course of public health,” he said.

save lives

The WHO Director General reminded the world that using the new vaccine on top of existing malaria prevention could save tens of thousands of young lives each year.

“This long-awaited malaria vaccine is a breakthrough in science, child health and malaria control.”

According to the WHO, as of 2019, more than 800,000 children in the three African countries that participated in the studies have received at least one dose of the vaccine as part of the normal childhood immunization program. Experts say the vaccine is shown to be safe and 30 percent of severe malaria cases.

With this new development, Kemri’s joy knows no bounds.

“A good day for science!” The research institute announced this in a tweet.

“After more than 2 million doses of the vaccine were administered through routine vaccination systems and hundreds of thousands of children were vaccinated in the three pilot countries, there is no evidence that the safety signals observed in the previous Phase 3 study were caused by the The vaccine has been used in pilot trials and Proven safe and effective in a number of other recent RTS, S clinical studies.

“The assessment at the time of the regulatory review and the Data Safety Monitoring Board (DSMB) of the clinical trials was that the observations were incidental, which this pilot program has now resolved,” Kemri said in an official statement.

It added that the effects of this vaccine, when added on top of the malaria control measures currently in place, are significant and can result in a significant and significant reduction in disease and death, and significantly reduce the burden on the health system.

Speaking on the phone with the nation, Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) director of the Kenya Malaria Program, who is also the lead investigator on the malaria vaccine, Aaron Samuels, described this success as historic.

“I think this is a historic event for the world and especially for Kenya where there is systemic malaria. This vaccine will be lifesaving for children across sub-Saharan Africa this recommendation and vaccination a success.

“I’m just proud to be alive to see this happen, but we still have a lot of work to do to make it happen – how is it going to be funded, who is going to fund it, and what role the African leaders have to play because we are have to come together. ” making those decisions, “he said.

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In an official statement, PATH, a nonprofit global health organization based in Seattle, Washington, USA, said it was good to know that a malaria vaccine developed specifically for African children could soon become more widely available.

“This is especially true now as advances in the fight against malaria have stalled in parts of the African region and children remain at increased risk of dying from the disease,” said Dr. Nathalie Mugala, Head of the Africa Region at PATH.

Last year, President Uhuru Kenyatta, as head of the Africa Leaders Malaria Alliance, launched a Zero Malaria Starts with Me campaign.

The government launched the End Malaria Council (EMC) in February, which consists of 12 members and one of its strategies is malaria prevention.

Kenya is the fifth country to join the EMC initiative.

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