Job Losses Loom As Malaria Vaccine Hits Africa
You may have shouted HURRAY!!!!!
You may be rejoicing the arrival of the Malaria Vaccine on the continent. But there are some people manufacturers and distributors of malaria medication that are crying.
Some entrepreneurs in the health sector are already counting billions of dollars they would lose.
The end of malaria would overtime also lead to millions of job losses to health workers, especially in the diagnostic centers across rural Africa.
But whatever the losses, the World Health Organisation’s Regional Office for Africa has started implementing a vaccine an initiative that would change Africa forever - a vaccine for malaria.
WHO has selected our neighbors Ghana, Kenya and Malawi as the three African countries that will take part in its malaria vaccine implementation programme.
The global body in a statement in Brazzaville, Congo on Monday stated that the success of the implementation programme in these countries would determine whether the vaccine would be made available to children in selected areas by 2018.
The injectable vaccine, RTS, according to the WHO Regional Director for Africa, Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, will be given to children between five to 17 months during the implementation.
She noted that the vaccine would be assessed in the pilot programme as a complementary tool that could potentially be added to the WHO-recommended measures for malaria prevention.
Moeti said, “The prospect of a malaria vaccine is great news. Information gathered in the pilot will help us make decisions on the wider use of this vaccine.
“Combined with existing malaria interventions, such a vaccine would have the potential to save tens of thousands of lives in Africa.”
The malaria vaccine, RTS, S was developed by GlaxoSmithKline and is the first vaccine to have successfully completed a Phase III clinical trial.
The trial, according to the WHO, was conducted between 2009 and 2014 through a partnership involving GSK, the PATH Malaria Vaccine Initiative with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and a network of African research sites in seven African countries — including Ghana, Kenya, and Malawi.
RTS, S is also the first malaria vaccine to have obtained a positive scientific opinion from the European Medicines Agency, which approved it in 2015.