Mosquirix Current Affairs - 2019
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The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared Algeria and Argentina as ‘Malaria-Free’ countries after no cases of indigenous transmission of disease were recorded.
- Background: The Malaria parasite was first discovered in humans in Algeria by a French physician named Charles Louis Alphonse Laveran in 1880. By 1960s, Malaria became Nigeria’s primary health challenge, with reporting almost 80,000 cases each year. The country then started it steps towards responding to disease. On the other hand, Argentina began is elimination efforts in 1970s.
- About: The indigenous transmission of disease was last reported from Algeria in 2013, while last case of Argentina was recorded in 2010.
- Algeria became second country in Africa to be declared malaria-free, after Mauritius, which was certified in 1973.
- Argentina became second country in South America to be certified malaria free after Paraguay, which was certified in June 2018.
- The certificates will be presented to both countries on sidelines of the 72nd session of the World Health Assembly (WHA) which is being held in Geneva, Switzerland.
- Steps Taken: by both nations include-
- Improved surveillance which helped every last case of malaria to be rapidly identified and treated.
- Free diagnosis and treatment of patients ensured that no one was left behind. This helped to prevent, detect and cure the disease.
- The trained health workers were deployed to spray homes with insecticides and to also diagnose disease through microscopy.
WHO and Malaria
As per the WHO’s World malaria report 2018:
- Malaria remains one of world’s leading killers of decade. In 2017, Malaria accounted for about 219 million cases from 87 countries and more than 400,000 deaths. Of total count over 60% of fatalities was among children under 5 years of age and had caused 266,000 deaths worldwide.
- In 2017, the African region recorded 92% of malaria cases and 93% of malaria deaths thus had highest share of global malaria burden.
- Four countries in African continent accounted for nearly 50% of all malaria cases worldwide, namely Nigeria (25%), the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC 11%), Mozambique (5%), and Uganda (4%)
WHO Malaria-Free Certification Criteria: The Country under consideration has to prove that it has interrupted indigenous transmission of malaria for at least 3 consecutive years. Till date a total of 36 countries have received WHO’s malaria free certification.
- It is mosquito-borne infectious disease.
- Cause: by infectious Plasmodium type parasitic protozoans (group of single-celled microorganisms).
- Transmission: on biting of infected female Anopheles mosquito.
- Mosquirix or (RTS,S) is World’s first vaccine against a parasitic disease.
Tags: 72nd session of the World Health Assembly (WHA) • Algeria • Argentina • female Anopheles • Geneva
World’s first Malaria Vaccine named RTS,S (trade name Mosquirix) was launched in Malawi, Africa on occasion of World Malaria Day (observed on 25 April). It was launched as part of pilot programme aimed at immunizing children aged 2 years and below in three African countries Malawi, Ghana and Kenya. Other two countries will launch this vaccine in coming weeks.
About Pilot Programme
- It is World Health Organization (WHO) coordinated three country pilot programme where risk of malaria is high. It aims to vaccinate 360,000 children per year with RTS,S vaccine across three countries and give them partial protection against disease. Children will be vaccinated on time with 4 required doses.
- The pilot programme is financed by collaboration of three key global health funding bodies: Gavi ( a public-private partnership Global Vaccine Alliance), Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, and Unitaid (global health initiative that works with partners to end world’s tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS, malaria and hepatitis C epidemics). Also, WHO, PATH and GSK will provide in-kind contributions.
About RTS,S Vaccine
- It is recombinant protein-based malaria vaccine. It is world’s first and only malaria vaccine. Its trade name is Mosquirix.
- It has been developed and manufactured by British drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) in partnership with the PATH Malaria Vaccine Initiative.
- It provides protection to only a third of children of less than 2 years age from severe malaria.
- It will act as complementary malaria control tool besides WHO-recommended core measures for malaria prevention, like routinely using insecticide-treated bed nets, indoor insecticides spraying and timely malaria testing and treatment.
- It is a life-threatening disease caused by parasites, which are transmitted by bites of infected female Anopheles mosquitoes. It is one of world’s leading killer disease. It is preventable and curable.
- In 2017, about 219 million cases of malaria were reported in 87 countries, and number of malaria deaths was 435 000.
- According to WHO, African Region carries highest share of global malaria burden with home to 92% of malaria cases and 93% of malaria deaths in 2017.