World’s first malaria vaccine to be tested in sub-Saharan Africa in 2018

The world’s first malaria vaccine will be rolled out in pilot projects in sub-Saharan Africa in 2018, the World Health Organization (WHO) disclosed late on Thursday.
‘The vaccine, known as RTS,S, acts against P. falciparum, the most deadly malaria parasite globally, and the most prevalent in Africa. Advanced clinical trials have shown RTS,S to provide partial protection against malaria in young children,’‘ a statement from the global health body noted.
RTS,S is touted as the first malaria vaccine to successfully complete pivotal Phase 3 testing. The Phase 3 trial enrolled more than 15,000 infants and young children in 7 countries in sub-Saharan Africa.
According to Dr Pedro Alonso, Director of the WHO Global Malaria Programme, “the pilot deployment of this first-generation vaccine marks a milestone in the fight against malaria. These pilot projects will provide the evidence we need from real-life settings to make informed decisions on whether to deploy the vaccine on a wide scale.”
Though the World Health Organisation says that the number of malaria cases and deaths in Africa have significantly decreased by 42% and 66% respectively between 2000 and 2015, 90 percent of malaria deaths occurred in Africa in 2015.
Currently, there are more than 30 malaria vaccines under development.