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A new medicine for malaria - 13th October 2021 View All

The World Health Organisation agrees to a new medicine for malaria. WHO director Tedros Adhanom says it's an important day.

Tedros Adhanom: "As some of you may know, I started my career as a malaria researcher, and I longed for the day that we would have an effective vaccine against this ancient and terrible disease. And today is that day, a historic day."

Mosquitoes carry malaria. Malaria kills over 400,000 people every year. Most are children in Africa.

First, they tested the medicine in Ghana, Kenya and Malawi. It was successful. Matshidiso Moeti explains.

Matshidiso Moeti: "Today's recommendation therefore offers a glimmer of hope for the continent. We expect many more African children will be protected from malaria and grow into healthy and productive adults."

GlaxoSmithKline first made the medicine in 1987. Over 30 years later it is ready. Children in Africa will now get it. Malaria kills one child every two minutes there.

Pamela Amboko is a nurse in Kenya. She is giving the medicine. She tells us it's doing good.

Pamela Amboko: "The vaccine has done a great job to the children, it's actually done a great deal of improvement. Our children before this used to come with severe malaria, with convulsions, and even anaemia because of frequent attacks of malaria, but now because of the immunisation, most of them are not coming in that state of anaemia. So actually, we are better off with the vaccine."

Children must take the medicine four times for good results. They must do this before they are two years old.

More medicines for malaria are coming soon. BioNtech and Oxford University are making them.

It's expensive to give medicines. But, malaria costs Africa $12 billion every year. So Africa needs them. View Less

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