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    Mosquitoes around the home can be reduced significantly by minimizing the amount of standing water available for mosquito breeding. Residents are urged to reduce standing water around the home in a variety of ways.


    The best way is to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes.This can be accomplished using personal protecting  while outdoors when mosquitoes are present. Treated bed nets should be used sleeping. Mosquito repellent should be used when outdoor.


    Nearly half of the world’s population is at risk of getting malaria. Pregnant women are particularly at risk of malaria. Children under 5 years are at high risk of malaria.


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Eunice Menka- Ghana

The airy PENTAGON shed on the grounds of the Kintampo Health Research Centre (KHRC) may appear to be the least attractive of all the facilities at the research site.

The PENTAGON however holds a special attraction as the dining hall where work-weary scientists and supporting staff meet to recharge their batteries.

Even more remarkable about this rectangular structure, is the celebration which took place there on September 2, 2009, following the vaccination of the first 20 children in Kintampo in a phase III malaria vaccine trial. Staff at the research centre went lively with lots of food and drinks, as they celebrated the successful event.

KHRC which has been researching into micronutrients, mental health, neonatal and maternal interventions, is one of 11 sites in seven African countries conducting clinical trials into the RTS,S malaria vaccine.

Children aged 5 to 17 months, and infants 6 to 12 weeks old are participating in the trials across Ghana, Burkina Faso, Malawi, Gabon, Kenya, Mozambique and Tanzania.

African institutions were fortunate to get the Malaria Clinical Trials Alliance’s support in providing infrastructure, recruiting specialized staff,  assembling data, analyzing this data, harmonizing regulations, and sensitizing local communities to ensure a successful outcome of the RTS,S vaccine trials.

A positive outcome is likely to be the biggest news of the century about Africa, which has been plagued by malaria since the beginning of time.


Dr Kwaku Poku Asante, a Principal Investigator, working on the RTS,S trials at KHRC, is committed to the success of the vaccine. 

“Personally, it is interesting to work on the vaccines. Malaria is a big problem. At the hospital you’ll be shocked to see the number of people on intravenous injections and others receiving blood due to anemia and malaria,” he says.

“I want to live to see the day the vaccine is licensed. I don’t want to die before it is out. I have so much interest I wake up very early each day to work on the vaccine.

“It is challenging work because of the human expertise needed for the trials. 

We have to recruit people from all over the country, micro-biologists, data managers and others,” he adds.

Dr Poku Asante said, there is a lot of global collaboration to give the vaccine a great chance of success.

“Internationally, we meet regularly to discuss the progress of the studies.

The funding agencies, such as GSK, WHO and governments are having discussions to ensure that once the vaccine is safe and efficacious, it does not end up just sitting on the shelves. It must be made available to people who need it.


               Community leaders and officials at
                 the launch of the Phase 3 at KHRC


Dr Asante says in 2011, all the seven countries researching into the vaccine   are expected to present an initial data on their findings to their local Food and Drugs Boards and international regulatory bodies to review.

They will analyze the safety and efficacy profiles of the vaccine from the results gathered to see if it can be given to a larger population. The regulatory bodies are expected to give their response in 2012.

The vaccine could be available for targeted use as early as 2013 among young children aged 5 to 17 months. And should all go well, general implementation of RTS,S for 6 to 12 week-old infants is possible within five years or so.

“Even if the vaccine is not successful, we will go back to the drawing board to start all over again. Besides, working on the vaccine will leave us with some legacies, like the human resource.”

“With many more vaccine trials to come up for other diseases, the work on RTS,S is serving as a training ground for us and building our human resource capacity,” adds Dr Poku Asante.


                    Dr Poku Asante giving his impressions after
                    vaccination of the first 20 study participants

The ultimate aim of the programme is to develop a vaccine that can be given to infants as part of the Expanded Programme on Immunization EPI)

The development of the vaccine began in 1987, when experimental malaria vaccine was created, to determine the efficacy information required of RTS,S and its ability to prevent malaria, especially the severe form in children.

So far, results of clinical studies have shown that RTS,S has a promising safety and tolerability profile and reduced the risk of clinical episodes of malaria in young children by 53 percent over an eight-month follow-up period, and decreased by 65 percent the risk of infection in infants over a six-month follow-up period.

RTS,S is the world’s most clinically advanced malaria vaccine candidate and  is the result of a partnership between leading African research institutions, their Northern academic partners, the PATH Malaria Vaccine Initiative (MVI) and GSK Biologicals, with grant monies from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation .

Sixth Edition