Equatorial Guinea launches malaria vaccine clinical trial

Equatorial Guinea's Ministry of Health and Social Security and the Ministry of Mines, Industry and Energy announced on Thursday it would sponsor a malaria vaccine clinical trial led by Sanaria and the Ifakara Health Institute.

Sanaria is a U.S.-based biotechnology company that manufactures vaccines with proven efficacy rates. The IHI is a Tanzania health research organization. The clinical trial will look at the safety and efficacy of an anti-malaria vaccine in Equatorial Guinea.

"Malaria is a global concern and although the situation has improved in many countries, it is still the most common cause of mortality in pregnant women and children under five years," Minister of Health and Social Security Diosdado Vincente Nsue Milang said.

The true goal of the study is to find a cure for malaria, in hopes of eradicating the disease, representatives of the Ministry of Health said. Equatorial Guinea's Ethics Review Committee will closely monitor the clinical trials to ensure they meet national standards. Equatorial Guinea President Obiang Nguema Mbasogo expressed his desire and responsibility to help in the fight against malaria, AIDS and tuberculosis.

"I can assure you that my country, Equatorial Guinea, is steadfast in its support for the statement made by the Heads of State and Government of the 29th African Union Ordinary Assembly Session in Addis Ababa in July 2012 in favor of a roadmap for shared responsibility and global solidarity in the fight against AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria," Mbasogo said.