Geneva, Oct 6 (EFE).- The World Health Organization recommended Wednesday the groundbreaking malaria vaccine for children at risk in a historic moment in the battle against the disease.
The recommendation to use the RTS,S/AS01 (RTS,S) malaria vaccine for children in sub-Saharan Africa and other regions is based on an ongoing pilot programme in Ghana, Kenya and Malawi in which over 800,000 children have taken part in since 2019.
“This is a historic moment. The long-awaited malaria vaccine for children is a breakthrough for science, child health and malaria control,” said WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.
“Using this vaccine on top of existing tools to prevent malaria could save tens of thousands of young lives each year,” he added.
Malaria is the primary cause of childhood illness and death in sub-Saharan Africa where more than 260,000 children under the age of five die from the disease annually, according to the WHO.
“Today’s recommendation offers a glimmer of hope for the continent which shoulders the heaviest burden of the disease and we expect many more African children to be protected from malaria and grow into healthy adults,” said Dr Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa.