During the recent African Union summit, the African Leaders Malaria Alliance (ALMA) gathered to discuss how to combat the threat of malaria in the continent. Inspired by this meeting, Madiké Seye, Vice-President for Africa – GlaxoSmithKline wrote a guest article on the Independent’s website calling for “new tools, such as a malaria vaccine, which could complement existing interventions.”
Seye wrote, “Vaccines and immunization services have been critical to improving Africa’s health over the last several decades. Anyone whose child has suffered f r o m malaria – and there are only few of us who have not directly been affected by the disease – can imagine what a malaria vaccine would mean.”
F r o m there, Seye highlighted the importance of partnerships between African leaders, policymakers, international groups and the pharmaceutical industry. These collaborations are required in order to move forward with making the dream of a malaria vaccine a reality, whether that’s through improving drug prices or investing in technology to fully develop the vaccine. Seye noted that the vaccine is already in the final phases of development and trial results have consistently shown an “acceptable safety profile.”
Global Health Progress supports the role of these public and private partnerships and the participation of the pharmaceutical industry, particularly when it comes to addressing issues involving drug prices, access to medicines, and the continued efforts to create innovative new drugs and vaccines. GHP believes research and development are especially critical components of improving health care and combating epidemics of neglected tropical diseases, such as malaria, in developing countries.
GHP echoes Seye’s call for countries, multilaterals, NGOs, the pharmaceutical industry and scientists to continue to work together to, “make sure Africa is ready for a vaccine. One day there may be the means to save many more lives and change the equation in the fight against malaria for good.”