Another medical breakthrough is in the works. A team led by a Filipino scientist is granted funds for developing a malaria vaccine. This vaccine is carefully designed to eliminate malaria by ‘blocking parasite transmission.’
Manila Bulletin reported that the team is co-led by a Filipino scientist, Dr. Rhoel Dinglasan, the principal investigator at Dinglasan Lab. Furthermore, Dr. Dinglasan is an assistant professor of molecular biology and immunology at the Center for Global Health and Malaria Research Institute of John Hopkins University’s Bloomberg School of Public Health.
The funds will be coming from a Japan-based Global Health Innovative Technology Fund (GHIT Fund). The group funds scientific research and development for anti-infectives and diagnostics for diseases that primarily affects the world. Having said that, the group extends generosity by awarding the team worth $419,285, which is roughly P19.3 million in Philippine Peso.
What is GHIT?
As seen on their website, they facilitate international partnerships that bring Japanese innovation. Also, it is a public-private partnership between the Government of Japan (Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare), seven Japanese pharmaceutical and diagnostics companies, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Wellcome Trust and the United Nations Development Programme.
It currently provides financial assistance to two malaria-related projects, including Dr. Dinglasan’s work and a test that can diagnose malaria infection in just a few minutes.
As described by HealthLine.com, Malaria is a “life-threatening disease that’s typically transmitted through the bite of an infected Anopheles mosquito that carries Plasmodium parasite.”
The disease is usually common in tropical countries where parasites that cause it can live. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), about 3.2 billion people are at risk of malaria.
Malaria used to be a perennial disease in the Philippines. However, due to the Department of Health’s awareness, people are now more cautious and aware on how to combat the infectious disease.
In fact, the Philippine government had declared that we’ve already achieved the Millennium Development Goal target for 2015 as early as 2008. Back in the day, there were 53 known provinces that were endemic for the disease. Fortunately, 27 of those provinces had been declared malaria-free. (Source: www.gov.ph)
Congratulations to the team and we are looking forward to your marvelous outcome!
Soon, the Philippines and the rest of the world will be a Malaria-free environment.
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