New vaccine against Malaria

I heard on the radio this morning that trials of a new malaria vaccine in several African countries have shown really positive results. I also read an article in the Guardian which explained that 941 cases of malaria were averted for every 1000 children vaccinated and that the vaccine against malaria could be introduced into some of the world’s worst-hit countries in 2015.

This is really exciting news because malaria is such a huge problem with about 219 million cases worldwide and about 660,000 deaths every year so a vaccine will help to save many lives, along with existing preventions and treatment. This vaccine against malaria has also broken new medical ground as the first vaccine against a parasite, so it could lead to developments against other parasites too.

Diphtheria, Tetanus and Polio Vaccination (ouch…)

Today I had a booster vaccination for Tetanus, Diphtheria, and Polio.

Although it hurt quite a bit, I’m lucky to be immunised against these diseases, which can be fatal, and have caused many deaths worldwide.

image from http://topnews.in/health/files/cervical-cancer01.jpg

I read these articles about Tetanus, Diphtheria and Polio, to learn more about the causes and treatments of these diseases.

Immunisation programmes for Polio were started in the UK from the 1950s, when there was a Polio epidemic. Now the virus is eliminated in the UK and many other countries.

However, Polio is still endemic in the countries Nigeria, Pakistan and Afghanistan. I read an article in the news yesterday, about Polio vaccinators working to stop the endemic in Nigeria, who were shot by terrorists. Sadly, this is not the first time that Polio vaccinators have been killed. In Pakistan the Taliban accused health workers of being US spies and alleged that the vaccine causes infertility.  

It is a shame that Polio cannot be eradicated completely, because of a handful of people who are against the anti-Polio movement.