Press statement: RTS,S vaccine recommended by WHO
“Today’s announcement is a truly historic moment as RTS,S becomes the first ever malaria vaccine to be recommended for use by the WHO. It represents another critical step in building our armoury of weapons against a disease which still kills over 400,000 people every year. British company GSK’s pivotal role in the development of RTS,S highlights the vital part that UK expertise is playing in driving malaria innovations and finding new and better ways of delivering them. Continued UK government investment in research is vital to ensure leading scientists have the support they need to continue to innovate. Recent polling shows this leadership is embraced by the British public, with more than three quarters (76%) of Britons feeling proud of British-led science and 77% of people wanting to see the UK continue to invest in preventing malaria,” says Gareth Jenkins, Director of Advocacy at Malaria No More.
“By continuing to invest to deliver a complete suite of transformative malaria-fighting tools, including next-generation insecticide-treated nets (ITNs) and life-saving preventative drugs, our government can help the world stay one step ahead of the ever-changing malaria parasite and finally bring about a zero malaria world. Backing key institutions such as the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria that play a vital role in ensuring key tools reach those that need them most is also crucial if the UK government is to help save two million additional lives from malaria, and avoid an extra two billion malaria cases, by the end of the decade.
“This complex, but preventable and treatable disease, causes hundreds of millions of infections each year, risking lives and livelihoods, trapping people in poverty in some of the poorest countries in Africa, and creating ‘disease blind spots’ which threaten our own health security at home. If we save lives from malaria today, we can also protect ourselves against the diseases of tomorrow,” he adds.