October 7

WHO Approves Malaria Vaccine in Historic First for Global Health

By Joe McCarthy

The first vaccine for children at risk of malaria has been approved by the World Health Organization, according to a press release.

This groundbreaking achievement could save tens of thousands of children each year in sub-Saharan Africa alone, the primary risk zone for the parasitic disease that kills half a million people annually, half of whom are children. Scientists and health advocates alike have heralded the vaccine as a major development in the fight to protect public health.

“For centuries, malaria has stalked sub-Saharan Africa, causing immense personal suffering,” said Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa, in a statement. “We have long hoped for an effective malaria vaccine and now for the first time ever, we have such a vaccine recommended for widespread use.

“Today’s recommendation offers a glimmer of hope for the continent which shoulders the heaviest burden of the disease and we expect many more African children to be protected from malaria and grow into healthy adults,” he said.

Photo courtesy of Pete Lewis / DFID.

Source: Global Citizen (link opens in a new window)

Health Care
infectious diseases, vaccines