Ghana to pilot world's first malaria vaccine

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On the occasion of World Malaria Day, Dr Sushila Kataria, Director Internal Medicine, Medanta - The Medicity, discusses the signs and symptoms of malaria, its prevention, and the importance of early diagnosis of this life-threatening disease.

According to the World Health Organization, the mosquito-borne disease kills 600,000 people worldwide every year. The theme underscores the collective energy and commitment of the global malaria community in uniting around the common goal of a world free of malaria.

He further noted that as the country seeks to eliminate malaria, it is imperative to expand coverage and accessibility of vector control tools such as distribution of long lasting Insecticide Treated Mosquito Nets (ITNs) and Indoor Residue Spraying (IRS) even in most rural and remote areas of the country.

IOM now supports malaria programming across dozens of countries globally, often with the support of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. Almost half the world's population still contracts it every year.

Every 60 seconds a child dies from malaria in Africa, and despite the fact that infectious disease is the biggest threat to the continent, the spotlight remains focused elsewhere. These include infants, children under five years of age, pregnant women and patients with HIV/AIDS as well as non-immune migrants and travellers. Dr al- Soub, said while several malaria vaccines are under development, none are now available.

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Fifteen countries - all but one in sub-Saharan Africa - carry 80% of the global malaria burden with Kenya standing at number 15. There are different subtypes of malaria parasites and the variety that causes the most lethal complications are commonly found in African countries which are south of the Sahara Desert, Asian subcontinent, Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea and Haiti.

"Malaria is bad for business", AfDB president Akinwumi Adesina told the African Leaders Malaria Alliance, a coalition of 49 African Heads of State and governments that was established in 2009 to eliminate malaria by 2030, during the African Union Summit in January.

This comes as the commemorates the World Malaria Day.

This, according to Dr. Smith, shows that Malaria is not just a health issues, but also concerns social and economic issues like proper housing, hence the call on the private sector to play a role in rolling back malaria. In addition, public budget for malaria control has declined sharply in recent years.