/ 27 August 2021

A malaria breakthrough

Despite the billions of dollars spent and decades-long efforts to eradicate malaria, it continues to kill 400,000 people a year. That’s why there’s excitement that scientists from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine have a new approach to treating malaria that could reduce infections and deaths by 70%. Their 3-year trial followed 6,000 children aged under 17 months in Burkina Faso and Mali. Rather than using either anti-malaria drugs or vaccines to treat the disease, the trial found the most effective treatment was giving patients a mix of both before the rainy season in June. Malaria mainly kills children in sub-Saharan Africa aged 5yo and under. The World Health Organization’s global malaria programme director Dr Pedro Alonso said he welcomed the development, and medicos in affected countries are hoping for “a quick policy decision” so they can get cracking.

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