So good to hear more good news about health. This good news about a possible malaria vaccine is particularly exciting.
"Malaria is humanity’s curse. It is among the oldest of human diseases, infecting our earliest ancestors, influencing our recent evolution, and causing an estimated half of all deaths since the Stone Age. Today, nearly half of the world’s population is at risk from malaria – it kills more than 400,000 people a year, most of them in Africa, where a child dies every two minutes from the disease. But now hopes have been raised of an end to the scourge: the first malaria vaccine is being rolled out in immunisation programmes in Malawi, Ghana and Kenya.
The new vaccine has been developed by GlaxoSmithKline with the support of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and others including the World Health Organization (WHO) and Gavi, the global vaccine alliance. It took 32 years of research, and cost more than $700m (£552m)."
I had no idea that some historians think malaria caused the fall of the Roman Empire. Malaria has been a scourge in most of the inhatited world during most of history.
"....in sub-Saharan Africa, where it first evolved, that the disease has proved most entrenched, historically killing half of children before the age of five."
I am very excited about this paragraph in the article:
"Other researchers are targeting the mosquitoes that play such a vital role in spreading the plasmodium, looking at ways to genetically modify the insects so that they become sterile or unable to carry the parasite. Last year saw the first release of GM mosquitoes on the continent, with the introduction of 10,000 insects in Burkino Faso that carry a mutation to render the females sterile."