The World Health Organization has made the biggest announcement and has recommended using the world’s first malaria vaccine for children. It is one of the breakthroughs that happened in science, malaria control, and child health. It has happened after it tested results on the children of Ghana, Kenya, and Malawi, which started in 2019. After seeing this success, the WHO has recommended this malaria vaccine for other African countries. It is mainly suggested for countries where malaria transmission is more.
Because of this vaccine, we can save thousands of young lives every year with the existing additional prevention tools.
What Is Malaria?
Malaria is a disease caused by mosquitoes that are transmitted to humans and other animals. The common symptoms of malaria include fever, tiredness, vomiting, and headaches. If it is in the stage of severity, it can cause yellow skin, seizures, coma, or death. It lasts for months to years until it disappears.
Ways Malaria Spread
Malaria is a mosquito-borne disease. The Malaria causing parasite attacks the blood cells and gets reproducing. It is getting spread through the bite of infected female Anopheles mosquitoes. The drugs are also used to stop malaria, and also spreading of malaria is controlled by using bed nets which is another effective method to prevent the spreading of malaria. While addressing the media, the WHO chief said that this vaccine is a powerful tool, but it still requires other measures to control malaria, including bednets or seeking care for fever.
Many children in African countries are the victims of malaria, and a serious problem still exists there. So to say in number in 2019 alone, 2.6 lakh children became the victim of malaria. It is expecting that the count can be reduced by using this vaccine. Un Health agency also reported that malaria is most vulnerable to children under the age of 5.
The trials started in 2015 proved that the RTS, S vaccine can reduce malaria infection to 4 from 10 children. However, the vaccine is only targeted for the deadliest one, which is higher in Africa, and it is named “Plasmodium falciparum.” Still, there are many types of malaria parasites are exists that are not protected by this vaccine.
How Is Vaccine Going To Benefit India?
This potentially life-threatening disease saw a reduction in India, about 49% infected cases and 50% of deaths compared with 2017. According to the WHO’s WMR, India represents 3% of the global malaria burden. The progress in the reduction of malaria cases in recent years is remarkable in India. It is estimated that the cases were reduced by 24% in 2017 compared to 2016 and 28% in 2018 compared to 2017.
Indeed, this essential scientific breakthrough would benefit India a lot. This vaccine would help in further reduction of malaria cases in India.
It is one of the most important milestones in this year in controlling the life-threatening disease malaria. We all welcome this breakthrough that is going to benefit humankind.