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ANNOUNCEMENTS:::

TIPS ON MALARIA

  • HOW CAN MOSQUITOES BE CONTROLLED?

    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.

  • HOW CAN I PROTECT MYSELF FROM MOSQUITO-BORN DISEASES?

    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.

  • WHO ARE AT RISK?


    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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WHAT THE BOFFINS SAID RTS,S -

There is every reason to believe that 2015 would bring a significant change in public health when the  RTS,S  malaria  vaccine  currently  being researched combines with existing tools to deal with the disease burden.

Initial  results  of  the  RTS,S malaria  candidate  vaccine announced in Seattle in October show that 5-17 month- old children who take three doses of the vaccine, get a 56 per cent protection from clinical malaria and 47 per cent protection  from severe malaria.

The  trials  are being done  at 11  sites  in  seven African countries namely Burkina Faso, Gabon, Ghana, Malawi, Mozambique,  Kenya  and  Tanzania.  Results  of  infants aged 6-12 weeks are expected to be released around the end of 2012.

Even better is the fact that the vaccine has an acceptable safety and  tolerability profile.

In an  interview with AMMREN,  the  co-inventor of  the RTS,S vaccine Joe Cohen of GSK Biologicals said “It is a fabulous and a very  important milestone  in medicine. The results of large-scale Phase 3 study confirm Phase 2 studies that the vaccine gives more than 50% protection against  clinical  episodes  of malaria  and  close  to  50% efficacy against severe malaria.”

“If  you  translate  that  into  averting  clinical  and  severe malaria  and  potentially  avoiding malaria  deaths,  this vaccine would save millions of lives if it is implemented properly and widely  in  the years  to come.”

“The  vaccine  is  going  to  make  a  tremendous  impact socially  and  economically   because  it  is  going  to  save millions of lives in Africa when it is implemented in the expanded programmes on immunisation (EPI). We hope the results of the children in the 6-12 weeks will show similar  levels of efficacy.”

The widespread coverage of  insecticide-treated bed nets (75%)  in  this  study  indicated  that  RTS,S  can  provide protection in addition to that already offered by existing malaria  interventions.
 
Sponsor of the vaccine trials Bill Gates who announced the results at the Malaria Forum in Seattle, Washington was pleased with the efficacy level of the drug which has undoubtedly laid the foundation for even more success in  the  fight against  the dreaded disease.

Mr  Gates  said  “A  vaccine  is  the  simplest,  most  cost- effective way to save  lives. These results demonstrate the power  of  working  with  partners  to  create  a  malaria vaccine  that  has  the  potential  to  protect  millions  of children  from  this devastating disease.”

Professor Tsiri Agbenyega, a principal investigator of the trial  and  Chair  of  the  Clinical  Trials  Partnership Committee,  said  “The  first  results mark  an  important milestone  in  the  development  of  RTS,S.  These  results confirm  findings  from  previous  Phase  2  studies  and support on-going efforts to advance the development of this malaria vaccine candidate. “

“Having worked  in malaria research for more than 25 years,  I  can  attest  to  how  difficult  making  progress against  this  disease  has  been.  Renewed  interest  in malaria by  the  international community, and scientific evidence as we are  reporting  today,   should bring new hope  that malaria can be controlled” he said cheerfully.

Christopher Elias, President and CEO of PATH Malaria Vaccine Initiative (MVI), put a fine point on it when he said  “We are an  important  step  closer  to  realizing  the vision where instead of carrying near-lifeless babies to crowded  paediatric  wards,    mothers  will  carry  their infants  past  noisy  school  playgrounds  to  bustling immunization clinics.”

The  impact of the RTS,S Phase 3  trial extends beyond the vaccine  being  researched.  The  trial  has  made  a considerable  contribution  to  many  of  the  African communities that host the trial sites through improved healthcare and hospital  facilities.

Research capacity at many of  the research centres has been  strengthened  through  the  training  of  staff, provision  of  state-of-the-art  laboratories,  equipment, and construction of new  facilities.

This  enhanced  capacity  bodes well  for  the  centres  to expand further their leadership in developing remedies for malaria  and  other  infectious  diseases  for  years  to come.

In  2001,  the  PATH  Malaria  Vaccine  Initiative  (MVI) entered into partnership with GSK to study the vaccine candidate's  ability  to  protect  young  children  in  sub- Saharan Africa.

The Malaria Clinical Trails Alliance (MCTA) of INDEPTH Network was created in 2006 with a grant of $17million from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to build the capacity of African Scientists to carry out the on-going Phase III RTS,S malaria vaccine tr als, involving 16, 000 children at 11 sites  in 7 African countries.
 

 

In all, MCTA upgraded 15 centres to carry out  Phase 2 & 3 vaccine and drug  trials,  three of which acquired  the capacity  for phase  I clinical  trials.  

Under  the  able  leadership  of  Programme  Manager Professor  Fred  Binka,  Africa's  eminent  malaria researcher, the 5-year endeavour of the MCTA created 15 closely-networked  centres  using    standard  operating procedure   for clinical  trials and  large-scale research.
 
These African research centres working on RTS,S have diversified their research portfolios to include TB, HIV,  icro-nutrients,  invasive  bacterial  studies,  population and disease surveillance.
 

Editions: 
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