Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Equatorial Guinea Supports Malaria Vaccine Trial

President Obiang Visits Sanaria Facilities in Support of the Country’s Fight Against Malaria

Equatorial Guinea’s President Obiang Nguema Mbasogo met with representatives of Sanaria Corporation in New York, last week to discuss progress on the upcoming malaria vaccine trial to take place in Equatorial Guinea. The president was in New York, to address the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) and meet with several heads of government and heads of state.

Equatorial Guinea is the second country in Africa to sponsor a malaria vaccine clinical trial. President Obiang reaffirmed the government's commitment to fight the disease, which is endemic in West and Central Africa. The West African nation has partnered with SanariaIfakara Health Institute (IHI), Marathon Equatorial Guinea Production Limited (MEGPL), Noble Energy, and Medical Care Development International (MCDI) for this vaccine trial.

Dr. Stephen Hoffman, President and founder of Sanaria, shared Sanaria’s mission with President Obiang and explained in detail the development of the vaccine trial.


President Obiang and the Equatorial Guinea delegation visited Sanaria’s laboratory, where they saw a demonstration of the production of the malaria vaccine (PfSPz) and witnessed the dissection to remove the sporozoites that cause malaria and are used to make the vaccine. They also observed the storage and cold chain transportation of the vaccine.

Marvin Rainsdon, MEGPL's general manager, expressed the research team’s appreciation for the support and commitment that the Ministry of Mines, Industry and Energy, the Ministry of Health and Social Security, Marathon, Noble Energy, AMPCO and EGLN have contributed to the research of the vaccine.

Chris Schwabe, representing MCDI, an organization that manages the Malaria Control Program on the island of Bioko, shared the achievements the country has experienced in the last ten years, and explained that the vaccine trial’s ultimate goal is to eliminate malaria in the next five years. This milestone research is part of the government’s efforts to improve the country’s public health.