Mar 30, 2017 Last Updated 9:01 AM, Mar 30, 2017

Malaria vaccine reaches trials

ABN – For the first time a malaria vaccine for children has reached clinical trials and has been tested on 16,000 children across seven African countries.

The results from the trials indicated that the vaccine was “almost effective” except on children aged 5-17 months where the vaccine was only 46% effective.

However experts remain optimistic that the vaccine holds potential to change malaria-stricken communities.

Prof Brian Greenwood, study author and professor of clinical tropical medicine at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, said: “I hoped the vaccine would be more effective, but we were never going to end up with the success seen in measles vaccines with 97% efficacy.”

The trials took place across 11 sites in Burkina Faso, Gabon, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique and Tanzania.

Professor Mike Turner, Head of Infection at the Welcome Trust, said: “While the levels of protection the vaccine offers against clinical malaria may seem relatively low, they are better than any other potential vaccine we currently have.

“The findings are not only important in their own right but also in signposting a road to developing better vaccines in the future.” 

@ABNetworkOnline

West Africa requests $5bn for reconstruction plans

ABN – West African nations that were heavily affected by Ebola have asked international donors to cancel their debts.

The region has also requested that the donors supply a further loan of US$5 to 6 billion for the countries to rebuild their economies, which were devastated by the outbreak.

Sierra Leone’s President Ernest Bai Koroma said: "Our social services are ruined, our economies have halted, and we need a real Marshall Plan to take us out of the woods.”

A regional reconstruction programme is set to be unveiled in the country today in the presence of the World Bank, United Nations and International Monetary Fund.

Koroma added: "If that (debt) is cancelled and support is provided to our regional program, it will take us a long way forward in our transformation agenda." 

@ABNetworkOnline

Ghana introduces emergency medicine training programme

ABN – Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology has partnered with the University of Michigan to launch Ghana’s first-ever emergency medicine training programme.

Around 15 specialist-emergency physicians have already been trained in the programme and are working in hospitals in the Ashanti, Greater Accra and Northern regions.

Facilities across eight regions of the country have also gained 35 nurses who have been trained in the emergency medicine programme.

The introduction of the programme follows the Accra Sports Stadium disaster in 2001, which saw 127 people lose their lives in a stampede.

A national Accident and Emergency Centre was also constructed in Kumasi in response to the disaster.

A Michigan University spokesperson said the training will: "improve the provision of emergency medical care in Ghana through innovative and sustainable physician, nursing, and medical student training programmes.

 "These programmes will increase the number of qualified emergency health care workers retained over time in areas where they are most needed."

@ABNetworkOnline

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