April 25th is World Malaria Day and we’ve had some mixed news this month concerning the GlaxoSmithKline RTS,S vaccine, reported in New England Journal of Medicine. 65% of children were protected in the 1st year, but protection then declined to zero over the next 3 years: which means booster shots will be essential. Vaccine efficacy also declined faster in children who were more exposed to malaria than in those who had below-average exposure. Not the grail we hope for, but we inch our way there.
Effectiveness is at the heart of the problem of malaria control. Last year Oxfam’s report “Salt, Sugar And Malaria Pills” highlighted their concerns on the effectiveness of the “Affordable medicines facility for malaria” (AFMm) hosted and managed by the Global Fund, with financial support from UNITAID, the UK Department for International Development (DFID), and others.
A fuller discussion of these issues can be found in the April issue of Global Health Knowledge Base, along with the latest research on drug-related aspects of malaria control