Malaria causes a lot of deaths every year and now researchers have made a giant leap forward by producing a vaccine that cuts the risk of the disease in half!
Malaria deaths have come down from more than a million to an estimated 780,000 a year, according to the latest report from the Roll Back Malaria partnership of the World Health Organisation. Three countries were certified malaria-free in the past four years, and nine more are preparing to move towards elimination – but that is out of 108 where the disease is endemic.
Since bed nets are not always effective, and not always used as they should be – there have been reports of some employed as fishing nets – and drugs can become ineffective, a vaccine could massively improve children’s chances.
While researchers started work on a potential Aids vaccine with extraordinary and, as it turned out, misplaced optimism, many in the scientific community thought a malaria vaccine was a non-starter. Nobody had ever made a vaccine against a parasite-borne disease.