World Malaria Day

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World Malaria Day is commemorated on the 25th of April, each year. The declaration of this date by the World Health Organisation as World Malaria Day in 2008 has done much to give greater and deserved...

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lanning for elimination is appropriate in some countries and regions of the world where we are currently seeing a decline in the incidence and prevalence of malaria.  However, more work must be done to ascertain the scientific reasons for the decline of malaria disease in the reported areas in order to avoid a rebound of the disease in epidemic proportions.  Furthermore, increased resources must be deployed towards ensuring that the already proven interventions are accessible to those who need them.

Planning for eradication cannot be done efficiently without also putting greater emphasis and further resources into the clinical development of effective, affordable, and accessible malaria vaccines.  In this regard, more proactive action is required from both individuals and governments in the resource-rich countries of the world, as well as significant financial contribution from African governments.  The political will to contribute to malaria research by African governments is paramount to the sustainability of current efforts.

The European Vaccine Initative (EVI) seeks to support candidate vaccines for diseases of poverty that emerge from European laboratories.  As well as directly funding the early-stage development of experimental candidate vaccines, EVI acts as a force to federate major organisations involved in the design, development, and testing of novel vaccines.  EVI also acts as a focal point for European and global vaccine research and development activities by coordinating numerous externally-funded consortia which are working towards accelerating the development of safe, effective, and affordable vaccines for diseases of poverty.

Currently EVI is coordinator of the Malaria Vectored Vaccines Consortium (MVVC), a European and Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership (EDCTP) funded €9.5 million project which aims to integrate project management, capacity building, and networking in the conduct of clinical trials in African children.  This four-year project, which has eight partners (four European and four African) commenced in December, 2009.  In addition, EVI also coordinates the five-year translational vaccine project (TRANSVAC), a European Network of Vaccine Research and Development project which is European Community (EC) supported action aimed at implementing a vaccine development infrastructure spanning from pre-clinical development to GMP production of novel candidate vaccines.