News / Health

WHO Unveils New Malaria 'Roadmap'

FILE - A young girl with malaria rests in the inpatient ward of the Malualkon Primary Health Care Center in Malualkon, in the South Sudanese state of Northern Bahr el Ghazal, June 1, 2012
FILE - A young girl with malaria rests in the inpatient ward of the Malualkon Primary Health Care Center in Malualkon, in the South Sudanese state of Northern Bahr el Ghazal, June 1, 2012

Multimedia

Audio
Joe DeCapua
Malaria infects hundreds of millions of people every year and causes well over a half million deaths. The World Health Organization and its partners Thursday announced a new goal to license vaccines by 2030 that would sharply reduce malaria cases and eventually eliminate the disease.


The 2013 Malaria Vaccine Technology Roadmap was unveiled in Washington. It expands the scope of vaccine research, calling for vaccines that can reduce malaria cases by 75 percent and that are suitable for use in all endemic-areas. Malaria affects nearly 100 countries and territories, with a particularly heavy burden in sub-Saharan Africa.

“The most recent figures that we have from the World Health Organization are for an estimated 660,000 deaths each year. It’s hard to get your head around that number because it’s such a large figure, said Dr. Vasee Moorthy, who’s with the World Health Organization’s Department of Immunizations and Vaccines. "So another way of thinking about it is that’s about 2,000 deaths each day from malaria. Now most of those deaths are in children under five in Africa, but there are also deaths elsewhere in parts of the Americas, in the Middle East and in Asia. And in terms of the number of cases, those deaths are from about 219 million cases of malaria.”

While there are no licensed vaccines yet against malaria, progress has been made in reducing cases. That’s due to better diagnosis, drugs, insecticide-treated mosquito nets and control of mosquito populations, which carry the malaria parasites.

“We’ve seen a 26 percent reduction in global malaria death rates over the last decade. If we could successfully develop malaria vaccines, they could have an important complementary role together with these malaria control measures,” Moorthy said.

Moorthy said that the 2013 Malaria Vaccine Technology Roadmap builds upon the original roadmap unveiled in 2006.

“It’s a more ambitious target now -- in that the roadmap is now being expanded to include Plasmodium vivax as well as falciparum," he said. "So falciparum is the form of malaria that causes most of the deaths, but vivax wasn’t previously included.”

While Plasmodium vivax may not cause as many deaths, it’s the source of many new cases. This is true in many countries – especially in the Americas and Asia -- where progress has been made against the falciparum form of the disease. It often strikes adults, leaving them unable to work.

“The original roadmap included a goal of having a licensed vaccine by 2015 against the most deadly form of malaria, falciparum. And this is retained in the new roadmap -- and adding the new goal of having a second generation of vaccines licensed by 2030,” said Moorthy.

It’s not clear whether the 2015 goal will be met. There are 27 malaria vaccine candidates in clinical trial. The most advanced candidate, RTS,S/AS01, is in Phase III trials. The results will be available in 2015 and then undergo regulatory review.

The new Malaria Vaccine Technology Roadmap is a collaborative effort led by the WHO, along with the U.S. and European governments and agencies, donors, developers and NGOs.

You May Like

At International AIDS Conference One Goal, Many Paths

The 12,000 delegates attending 20th International AIDS Conference in Melbourne have vastly different visions about how to eradicate disease More

Disasters May Doom Malaysia’s Flag Carrier

Even before loss of two jets loaded with passengers on international flights, company had been operating in red for three years, accumulating deficit of $1.3 billion More

Afghan Presidential Vote Audit Continues Despite Glitches

Process has been marred by walkouts by representatives of two competing candidates, Abdullah Abdullah and Ashraf Ghani More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Agei
X
Elizabeth Lee
July 20, 2014 2:36 AM
Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Chicago’s Argonne Lab Developing Battery of the Future

In 2012, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science awarded a $120 million grant to a new technology center focused on battery development - headquartered at Argonne National Laboratory in suburban Chicago, Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there scientists are making the next technological breakthroughs in energy storage.
Video

Video In NW Pakistan, Army Offensive Causes Massive Number of Displaced

Pakistan’s army offensive in North Waziristan has resulted in the large-scale displacement of the local population. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from northwest Pakistan where authorities say around 80 percent of the estimated 1 million internally displaced persons [IDPs] have settled in Bannu district, while much of the remaining 20 percent are scattered in nearby cities.
Video

Video Kurdish Peshmerga Force Secures Kirkuk, Its Oil

The Kurdistan regional government has sent its Peshmerga troops into the adjacent province of Kirkuk to drive out insurgents, and to secure the area's rich oil fields. By doing this, the regional government has added a fourth province to the three it officially controls. The oil also provides revenue that could make an independent Kurdistan economically strong. VOA’s Jeffrey Young went out with the Peshmerga and filed this report.
Video

Video Malaysia Reeling: Second Air Disaster in Four Months

Malaysia is reeling from the second air disaster in four months involving the country’s flag carrier. Flight 340 vanished in March and despite an extensive search, no debris has been found. And on Thursday, Flight 17, likely hit by a surface-to-air missile, came apart over eastern Ukraine. The two incidents together have left more than 500 people dead. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Kuala Lumpur.
Video

Video Diplomatic Crisis Grows Over MH17 Plane Crash

The Malaysia Airlines crash in eastern Ukraine is drawing reaction from leaders around the world. With suspicions growing that a surface-to-air missile shot down the aircraft, there are increasing tensions in the international community over who is to blame. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Undocumented Immigrants Face Perilous Journey to US, No Guarantees

Every day, hundreds of undocumented immigrants from Central America attempt the arduous journey through Mexico and turn themselves over to U.S. border patrol -- with the hope that they will not be turned away. But the dangers they face along the way are many, and as Ramon Taylor reports from the Rio Grande Valley in Texas, their fate rests on more than just the reception they get at the US border.
Video

Video Scientists Create Blackest Material Ever

Of all the black things in the universe only the infamous "black holes" are so black that not even a tiny amount of light can bounce back. But scientists have managed to create material almost as black, and it has enormous potential use. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Fog Collector Transforming Maasai Water Harvesting in Kenya

The Maasai people of Kenya are known for their cattle-herding, nomadic lifestyle. But it's an existence that depends on access to adequate water for their herds and flocks. Lenny Ruvaga reports for VOA, on a "fog collector."

AppleAndroid