Nov 3, 2009 8:47 AM by Associated Press

New vaccine offers hope in Africa's malaria battle

Final stages of testing are under way in malaria-plagued Africa on a vaccine that appears to be able to
prevent the disease in about 50 percent of children. If it's found to be safe, it could be on the market in three to five years - the first vaccine against a human parasite.

Tens of millions of Africans are plagued by malaria every year and more than 1 million children die. It's a crippling economic drain that prolongs a cycle of disease and poverty throughout the continent.

Malaria is also prevalent in parts of Asia, the Middle East and Central and South America but this vaccine was developed specifically for Africa. Experts say it would still be a historic advancement.

Experts from around the globe are meeting in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, this week as part of the fifth pan-African malaria conference.




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