Malaria continues to be widespread disease in killing more than 2 million people annually in Africa. The sub Saharan desert registers the most number of cases of malaria with a whopping 90%. The World Health Organization, estimates that in the year 2010, malaria killed an estimated 660000 people, mostly children. It is estimated by the WHO that a children dies of malaria every minute in Africa. Africa accounts for over a 40% of deaths globally. Hence it is very important and the need of the hour to develop a vaccine against malaria in Africa.
But there are many challenges in this aspect. Scientists say that the most difficult aspect of developing a vaccine against malaria is that the parasite which causes malaria is very complex in nature. The parasite has several components in it and the parasite changes these components accordingly to develop resistance. Hence scientists argue that it is very difficult to develop immunity against this parasite. Scientists are looking forward to the year 2015 when they think they can come up with a new vaccine, after getting due approval from the WHO. Scientists are also keen on developing a gen next vaccine which will prevent the mosquito from carrying the malarial parasite. All over Africa, researchers, clinical trial specialists and vaccine developers are working very hard to develop a vaccine against malaria.
The latest development in this regard is scientists are planning to start clinical trials soon in South Africa, starting from the upcoming year. This was announced at an international conference held in South Africa recently. The compound name is touted to be MMV390048 and is a serious candidate considered for advanced phases of clinical trials. The pre clinical analysis of this molecule has yielded good results and molecule has proved effective against many strains of the malarial parasite as well. The South African government has funded 12 million dollars for the fulfillment of this project. Scientists all over the continent are hoping that the drug be reach the marketing stage soon and fulfill all the promises and hopes associated with it.