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17 Nov 2021

HSRC and MRC to hold a dialogue on malaria vaccine development

Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC)
Press Release

Pretoria, Tuesday 16 November 2021 – The Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) in partnership with the South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC) invite members of the media to join a webinar dialogue on malaria vaccine development to be held on Wednesday, 17 November 2021 from 11h00 to 13h00.

Malaria kills about 500 000 people per year in Africa, almost half of them children. Researchers are working hard to develop a vaccine against this parasitic disease but still face several challenges. 

At this virtual dialogue, experts will assess the progress made so far and discuss the likely impact of a vaccine breakthrough.

According to the HSRC’s Dr Palesa Sekhejane, the dialogue will contribute to scholarly inquiry by presenting scientific communities with an opportunity to develop potential areas of research interest, particularly in African regions. 

“It is critical to reflect on challenging aspects of malaria vaccine development and sensitise the public regarding the gains that the vaccine is capable of achieving. In this dialogue, experts will share their experiences focusing on historical and future perspectives of malaria vaccine development,” said Dr Sekhejane.

The development of malaria vaccines is a huge step towards reducing the impact that malaria has on communities living in the areas infested with malaria-causing mosquitos, especially in sub-Saharan Africa.

The policy dialogue serves as a platform for experts to engage on the advancement, opportunities and bottlenecks in the research and policy environment.

“In addition to accelerating the development and manufacturing of a malaria vaccine, we need to understand how the global effort will ensure fair and equitable access to such a vaccine for all countries, particularly low- and middle-income countries,” said Dr Sekhejane.

The objectives of the dialogue include: 

• Exploring the challenges and constraints towards the development of manufacturing of vaccines in Africa

• Determining the capacity to produce the vaccine 

• The availability of skills, machinery, and storage space. The World Health Organization (WHO) is attempting to enlist the help of pharmaceutical companies for funding and to create research hub, as well as funds. 

• Determining the economic burden of malaria in South Africa

• Identifying other health interventions to fight malaria in the country 

• Determining which of these interventions would have the greatest public health impact 

• Identifying which interventions would be the most cost-effective. 

• Defining a combination of interventions the country could adopt

• Finding out more about financing options available for the vaccine

• Determining whether South Africa’s current health infrastructure can accommodate delivery of a malaria vaccine

• Determining the meaning of vaccine development for sub-Saharan Africa 

• Strategic planning on how to proceed with vaccine development and distribution

The details of the event are as follows:

Date:17 November 2021

Time:11h00 to 13h00

Zoom link:https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_h0jgQl1oSpiEyfr37vOY8Q

For media enquiries contact: Adziliwi Nematandani – 082 765 9191 or anematandani@hsrc.ac.za.

Join the conversation: #MalariaVaccine

About the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC)

The HSRC was established in 1968 as South Africa’s statutory research agency and has grown to become the largest dedicated research institute in the social sciences and humanities on the African continent, doing cutting-edge public research in areas that are crucial to development.

Our mandate is to inform the effective formulation and monitoring of government policy; to evaluate policy implementation; to stimulate public debate through the effective dissemination of research-based data and fact-based research results; to foster research collaboration; and to help build research capacity and infrastructure for the human sciences. 

The Council conducts large-scale, policy-relevant, social-scientific research for public sector users, non-governmental organisations and international development agencies. Research activities and structures are closely aligned with South Africa’s national development priorities.

Join the conversation at:

  www.hsrc.ac.za    

  https://twitter.com/HSRCza 

  http://www.facebook.com/HumanSciencesResearchCouncil

This seminar is partially funded by the Department of Science and Innovation. The views and opinions expressed therein as well as findings and statements of the seminar series do not necessarily represent the views of the DSI. Please note that this seminar will be recorded and published on the HSRC podcast channel. The HSRC complies with the South African PoPIA and the Electronic Communications Transactions Act of 2002 Section 45: (1) any person who sends unsolicited commercial communications to stakeholders, must provide the stakeholders with the option to cancel their subscription to that mailing list. To opt-out or unsubscribe from this mailing list, please email us at mediaroom@hsrc.ac.za

Written by Nkone Jones

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