The fight to cure malaria has yielded some spectacular results this year, news which is welcomed by Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria. The results come from the phase three trial of RTS,S, a malaria vaccine candidate.
So far, RTS,S has shown a 54% reduction in cases of clinical malaria over the first year of follow-up and a 36% reduction in clinical malaria over a 48 month period among children vaccinated between 5-17 months old who received four doses of RTS,S. The five year trial involved 15,459 children and infants, and concluded in January. Overall, more than 1,700 cases of clinical malaria were averted per 1,000 children vaccinated across different trial sites on average.
Leaders of both Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance and the Global Fund have voice their satisfaction upon hearing this results and hope that a vaccine like RTS,S can become the powerful and newest addition to the tools used to fight malaria. Yearly, malaria leads to the death of thousands of children across developing countries, in particular the sub-Saharan Africa region. The Global Fund has been one of many organizations that has mounted efforts to curb the rise of malaria.
Currently, RTS,S is being reviewed by the European Medicines Agency, which is expected to provide a scientific opinion later in the year. If the opinion of the European Medicines Agency is positive, that would give the green light for the World Health Organization to make recommendations on the use of RTS,S. Ultimately, this is the hope of the Global Fund and Gavi, who wish to add RTS,S to the current methods for combating malaria which include mosquito nets and indoor spraying.
For more news and updates on The Global Fund, please visit Scott Filler‘s official website.