New hope in fight against malaria

Gary Finnegan

Gary Finnegan

October 26th, 2011

Gary Finnegan

‘The global effort to protect millions of people against malaria has received a major boost with news of preliminary studies showing a new vaccine could cut the death rate in young children in half.’

New-hope-in-fight-against-malariaResults from a clinical trial, published in the New England Journal of Medicine and unveiled at  the Malaria Forum in Seattle, Washington, suggest the vaccine could be available by 2015.

The work was co-funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation which has invested millions of dollars into vaccines research, and comes in the wake of this summer’s landmark deal between vaccine manufacturers and NGOs which will see existing vaccines made available to developing countries at lower prices.

Bill Gates had dubbed this the Decade of Vaccines, a theme taken up by experts and policymakers alike.

A coalition of philanthropists, charities, governments and industry groups have stepped up the momentum to radically cut the death toll from vaccine-preventable diseases.

Melinda Gates
, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, said the malaria vaccine breakthrough is encouraging for everyone involved in the global effort to improve public health.

“We have seen tremendous success in the control of malaria, thanks to an infusion of resources, innovation, and political will. Worldwide, malaria deaths are down 20 percent since 2000,” she said.

The GAVI Alliance welcomed the news, saying that while it is still early days, the findings are hugely encouraging and hailed the breakthrough as a success for partnership.

“These promising results demonstrate the power of product development public-private partnerships to tackle global challenges,” the Alliance said in a statement.

Video: Bill and Melinda Gates on progress in the battle against malaria 

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