Equatorial Guinea agrees to malaria vaccine development program
The agreement calls for Equatorial Guinea and partners AMPCO, Marathon Oil Corp. and Noble Energy, Inc. to invest $48.5 million to support Sanari efforts to develop and license the vaccine.
Malaria is one of the top causes of childhood and infant death around the world and especially in Africa.
"The power and grandness of a country is not measured by its size nor its population, but rather by the size of its citizen's hearts," Equatorial Guinea President Obiang Nguema Mbasogo said.
According to estimates from the World Health Organization (WHO), malaria caused approximately 198 million clinical cases and 584,000 deaths in 2013. Many of these illnesses and deaths were caused by the Plasmodium falciparum malaria parasite.
The partnership also involves several international organizations and groups, including the Ifakara Health Institute from Tanzania.
"We are honored to contribute towards this initiative driven by our African leaders and are excited about the possibility of elimination of malaria in Equatorial Guinea and other parts of Africa,” Director of the Ifakara Health Institute Director Salim Abdulla said.
Additionally, malaria decreases Africa’s gross domestic product by a minimum of 1 percent each year, based on health care costs, lives lost, loss of productivity, decreased learning capabilities and several other factors
"Sanaria is honored and grateful to be able to work with our collaborators and funding partners in this historic, unprecedented, visionary effort led by the Republic of Equatorial Guinea and its oil and energy company partners, which intends to demonstrate that a Sanaria PfSPZ vaccine can halt transmission and eliminate malaria on Bioko Island, Equatorial Guinea, as a first step toward regional, continental and worldwide elimination of this devastating disease,” Sanaria CEO Stephen Hoffman said.