Mozambique Tests Vaccine

August 15, 2002
The Cambodia Daily

Mozambique has begun clinical tests of a product to be developed into a malaria vaccine, the Chinese Xinhua news agency reported.

Testing began in July in the district of Manhica, about 75 km north of Maputo, the capital, the news agency said, citing reports of the local Maputo daily.

Tests were being conducted in cooperation with the Mozambican Health Ministry, the Barcelona University Hospital of Spain, pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline and the Malaria Vaccine Initiative.

"The product, named RTS,S, developed by GSK specifically for the protection of children, has been successfully tested on adults in the United States of America, Belgium, Gambia and Kenya, where it was found to provide protection against malaria," Xinhua reported.

Tests were carried out in Mozambique on a group of 60 children aged between one and four. Positive test results will lead to a second phase of the project covering about 1,700 children, the news agency reported.

"Developing a vaccine to protect children against malaria is deemed essential because it was found that deaths of children aged under five represents about 75 percent of the total of 2.7 million victims of malaria worldwide every year," Xinhua said.
"Malaria patients take up about 40 percent of the country's hospital beds," said Health Minister Francisco Songane.