The rollout of the world’s first malaria vaccine has begun in Cameroon, which is said to usher in a “transformative chapter in Africa’s public health history”. The RTS,S vaccine – 662,000 doses of it – will be administered to children in the west African country, the first to be vaccinated after successful trials of the drug in Ghana, Kenya, and Malawi between 2019 and 2021.
World Health Organization
Cape Verde, an island nation off the coast of West Africa, was given the status by the World Health Organization (WHO) as it has not reported a single case of local transmission in three years. Experts have hailed this as a major achievement. It’s the first time a sub-Saharan African nation has been declared malaria-free in 50 years.
The new 2023 World Health Organization report on road safety shows that, since 2010, road traffic deaths have fallen by 5%—and that would translate into a 16% drop if the rise in global population was accounted for. 108 countries reported a drop in road traffic-related deaths between 2010 and 2021. Ten countries succeeded in reducing road traffic deaths by over 50%.
Bangladesh has become the first country globally to be validated for elimination of visceral leishmaniasis, a life-threatening neglected tropical disease. The country achieved the elimination target of less than one case per 10,000 population at the sub-district level in 2017 and has sustained it to date.
North Korea introduced a mass measles-rubella immunization program in November 2019. Through this mass immunization activity, achieving more than 99.8% coverage in almost 6 million target population, the country has rapidly built substantial population immunity for rubella.
For centuries, this disease has afflicted millions of people worldwide, causing pain, severe disability and social stigmatization. It is now the second neglected tropical disease (NTD) that the Southeast Asian country has eliminated following the elimination of trachoma as a public health problem in 2017.
The R21/Matrix-M vaccine, developed at Oxford University, is expected to offer countries a cheaper and more readily available option than the world’s first shot against the parasitic disease.
Nearly seven million deaths from COVID-19 have been reported to WHO, However, for more than a year the pandemic has been on a downward trend, allowing many around the world to largely return to relatively normality.