By Aditi Khanna
London, October 7 (PTI) Researchers at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) on Thursday hailed WHO’s ‘historic’ decision to recommend widespread use of a malaria vaccine for the first time , potentially saving tens of thousands of lives in Africa each year.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has said that the malaria vaccine RTS, S / AS01 (RTS, S) should be given to children in sub-Saharan Africa and other areas where transmission of P. falciparum malaria is moderate to high.
The LSHTM team behind the vaccine said its use would maximize impact in high-burden areas and spur efforts to reduce child mortality in Africa.
âThis is a historic day for malaria. For the first time, we have a vaccine that is now recommended for expanded use in regions of Africa where the disease is endemic, âsaid Professor Sir Brian Greenwood of LSHTM, who has played a central role in the trials and research on vaccination against malaria since the creation of the RTS. , S.
âWith malaria still a leading cause of death, especially among children in Africa, this decision has the potential to save millions of young lives. We urgently need more innovative and practical tools and solutions against malaria, âhe said.
Professor Greenwood said that while the RTS, S vaccine does not offer complete protection, it is part of a tailored approach to reduce death and illness in high load areas, especially when it is coupled with other interventions such as seasonal malaria chemoprevention and bed nets, and a huge boost to malaria control efforts.
“It is important that long-term investment and commitment in science and global health partnerships like these continue so that the complex challenges posed by a disease such as malaria can be addressed and the benefits potentially life-saving RTS, S and other interventions can be performed, “he said.
LSHTM researchers, along with partners around the world, have conducted a wide range of work that has helped develop crucial evidence underpinning WHO’s endorsement, design and implementation. clinical trials looking for where and to whom RTS, S might be best targeted.
LSHTM has warned that after huge gains over the past two decades, progress in the fight against malaria has stalled and new tools are urgently needed to fight malaria and protect vulnerable children at risk of malaria. illness and death.
Africa continues to bear the heaviest burden of malaria, and African children are at the greatest risk of dying from malaria: more than 260,000 African children under the age of five die from malaria each year. PTI AK CPS
Disclaimer: – This story has not been edited by Outlook staff and is auto-generated from news agency feeds. Source: PTI