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29.04.2004 General News

New Malaria Vaccine for Kids Ready 1n 2008.

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Sirigu (U/E), April 29, GNA - The first malaria vaccine for children of five years and below, would be launched in 2008 by the GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) a pharmaceutical company based in the United Kingdom, Dr. Gunther L. Faber, Vice President of GSK said on Wednesday. He said research work for a malaria vaccine currently going on in Mozambique was started in 1983, but faced many setbacks due to the frequent mutation of the malaria parasite

Dr. Faber said this in an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) at Sirigu near Bolgatanga in the Upper East Region, where he commissioned a children's Home sponsored by his company.

He said even though trials for adult vaccine were being done in The Gambia; more attention was focused on the children's vaccine, as the disease was more fatal in younger persons. He noted with concern that malaria contributed most to the high infant morbidity and mortality rate in Africa and that, urgent action was needed to control the situation.

Dr. Faber explained that the ongoing research was taking care of the mutating gene in the malaria parasite so that the vaccine would be able to stand the test of time and be beneficial.

He said despite the high cost of the trials, mass production of the vaccine would enable the company to beat down the price of the final product for the consumer.

The GSK has offices in many African countries, and manufactures drugs and vaccines for various diseases. It is also undertaking research into vaccines for Cervical Cancer and HIV. 29 April 04