WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros called it a ‘historic moment’
The World Health Organization (WHO) on Wednesday recommended widespread use of the first malaria vaccine for African children, aimed at reducing the disease burden and saving thousands of lives.
The health agency recommends a four-dose schedule of RTS,S vaccine among children 5 months and older to reduce malaria disease and burden.
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“This is a historic moment,” WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in a Statement Posted Wednesday. “The long-awaited malaria vaccine for children is a breakthrough for science, child health and malaria control. Using this vaccine on top of existing tools to prevent malaria could save thousands of young lives each year. “
According to the Global Health Agency, mosquito-borne disease is blamed as the primary cause of childhood morbidity and mortality in sub-Saharan Africa, with more than 260,000 African children under the age of 5 contracting the disease each year. while an estimated 2,000 make malaria diagnoses. Occurs annually in the Americas, with the majority of cases being reported from sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia from travelers and immigrants from countries with malaria transmission. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
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“For centuries, malaria has plagued sub-Saharan Africa, causing immense personal suffering,” said WHO regional director for Africa, Dr. Matshidiso Moeti added in the release. “We have long been hoping for an effective malaria vaccine and now, for the first time, we have such a vaccine recommended for widespread use. Today’s recommendation offers a glimmer of hope for the continent that is most heavily affected by the disease. burden and we expect many more African children to be protected from malaria and develop into healthy adults.”