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World’s First Malaria Vaccine launched in Malawi..introduced in Ghana,Kenya

This makes Malawi the first of three countries in Africa in which the RTS,S vaccine will be made available to children up to two years of age.

RTS,S is a scientific name given to the malaria vaccine and represents its composition; the ‘R’ stands for the central repeat region of Plasmodium (P.) falciparum‘circumsporozoite protein (CSP); ‘T’ for the T-cell epitopes of the CSP;and the‘S’ for hepatitis B surface antigen(HBsAg).

The other two African countries, Ghana and Kenya, will introduce the vaccine in the coming weeks.

Malaria remains one of the world’s leading killers, claiming the life of one child every two minutes, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Most of the deaths are in Africa, where over 250 000 children die from the disease every year.

Children under five are at greatest risk of its life-threatening complications. Worldwide, malaria kills 435 000 people a year, most of them children.

According to WHO, the vaccine, RTS, S is an innovation milestone of three decades in development

“Thirty years in the making, RTS,S is the first and to date the only, vaccine that has demonstrated it can significantly reduce malaria in children.

“In clinical trials, the vaccine was found to prevent approximately four in 10 malaria cases, including three in 10 cases of life-threatening severe malaria,’’ a WHO statement said.

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