Guest Blog Post: The Malaria Vaccine Project
By Graham Jones, Past District Governor and Chairman of the Malaria Vaccine Project
This Project involves a partnership between Rotary International District 9640 and the Institute for Glycomics at Griffith University. The project is registered with Rotary Australia Benevolent Society (RABS) and is sponsored by Rotarians Against Malaria (RAM). Since it was launched by the then Governor General of Australia, General Sir Peter Cosgrove AK, CVO, MC in March 2017, the project has raised $1.28 million to support the development of a promising malaria vaccine PlasProtecT®, created by Professor Michael Good AO. This total includes a matching grant from the Australian Government (Medical Research Future Fund) for $500,000.
Professor Good’s vaccine is a whole parasite vaccine that is chemically attenuated to make it safe and effective against all strains of malaria. He and his team have successfully negotiated Phase 1(a) efficacy trials where the vaccine was encased in a human blood cell. It was the first time that multiple volunteers had been protected from malaria by a whole parasite vaccine. Professor Good is now doing preliminary studies with the lipid form of the vaccine that is able to be freeze-dried and transported anywhere in the world. These preliminary studies include further animal studies and human studies to evaluate safety and the immune response induced by the vaccine. Hopefully they will be able to proceed to Phase 1(b) efficacy studies with the lipid form of the vaccine in an endemic country in 2022-23.
Community work is tough and requires a lot of sacrifices. To voluntarily serve members of your community day and night without pay is perhaps the highest form of sacrifice. But this is what community health workers have committed to do every day. Determined to eliminate the deadliest killer of infants and adults alike, our community-based volunteers are resolved and determined to play their part. In all our years of service, perhaps no one personifies sacrifice like Elias Banda. We met Elias Banda on June 4th, 2022.
From the 12th to the 14th of May, Rotary District 9214 held its 97th District Conference in Arusha. Over Six hundred participants were in attendance. Rotarians, Rotaractors, interactors and guests had a chance to discuss and vote on important District matters.
Laughter, dancing and singing was the mood in Bulosi village during the MPU/RC Busia visit to Busime Malaria Project on Saturday 28th May 2022. Funded by a small grant from MPI, RC Busia has since received 1,500 mosquito nets from Youth Environment Services and UGX 1,000,000 from Equity bank, Busia branch. According to the bank’s Credit Manager James Sekairi, “Giving to Rotary is no loss.”