World Health Organization approves first anti malarial vaccine

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Recently the World Health Organization (WHO) has recommended the world’s first anti malarial vaccine.

The WHO said that it was recommending the widespread use of the RTS,S/AS01 (RTS,S) malaria vaccine (first anti malarial vaccine) among children in Africa and in other regions with moderate to high P. falciparum malaria transmission.

Notably, malaria kills more than 280,000 African children under the age of five each year.

Malaria disease is caused by parasites. It is spread to people through the bite of an infected female Anopheles mosquito.

Two of these species – Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium vivax – pose the greatest threat.

According to the World Malaria Report 2020 (published by WHO), India has recorded the highest reduction in malaria infection cases in Southeast Asia. It is known that in the year 2000, there were 20 million cases of malaria in India, which came down to about 5.6 million in the year 2019.

However, in 2019, India accounted for 88% of malaria cases and 86% of malaria deaths in Southeast Asia.

A WHO report also mentions high antimalarial drug resistance in Tripura, Arunachal Pradesh and Mizoram.

Initiatives taken to eradicate malaria in India:

  • Outlining a strategy to eradicate malaria by 2030, the National Framework for Malaria Elimination in India 2016-2030° has been adopted.
  • National Strategic Plan for Malaria Elimination 2017-22 etc.

Source – The Hindu

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