Australia leads the World in research for an effective malaria vaccine. It is one of the mains reasons why Melbourne hosted the 1st Malaria World Conference in July 2018 bringing over 1000 attendees from 64 countries here to pool our resources and knowledge, and to start to plan a coordinated attack to defeat a disease which still infects 200,000,000 each year and kills 450,000, mainly children under 5 years old. The “Holy Grail” will be an effective, long lasting, single dose, cheap and robust vaccine. With this we just might achieve the Millennium Goal of a World free of malaria by 2040.
There are many vaccine contenders in various stages of development, but leading the pack is a vaccine based on using modified versions of the malaria parasite in the vaccine to provoke the human immune system into action early to rid the body of malaria. Called Plasprotect it is being developed by Professor Michael Goode and a team from the Institute of Glycomics - part of Griffith University in Queensland. The research to discover the vaccine was funded by the Australian Government, but they would not support the essential trials needed to bring the vaccine to safe use. Rotary District 9640 in Queensland agreed to mount a campaign to raise $500,000 to get the vaccine to the first stage of human trials. With RAM’s help the funds were raised by late last year and human trials have now commenced.
Griffith University hosted the Rotarians Against Malaria (RAM) National Conference on the Gold Coast in August last year when we agreed to continue this support and seek a further $500,000 to complete human trials in a “Non-Malaria Challenged” country (Australia) We hope that if these trials are successful the major Global malaria funds will take on the multi-million dollar task of testing the vaccine in a country where malaria is endemic - probably in Africa.
Click here to read the full article where the Federal Government has matched the $500,000 raised for the Malaria Vaccine Project by Rotarians all over Australia.