Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Minister of Health and Social Welfare Discusses Malaria Vaccine Clinical Trial

In an interview, Equatorial Guinea’s Minister of Health and Social Welfare, Diosdado Vicente Nsue Milang, talks about the government’s partnership with American biotechnology company, Sanaria in conducting a malaria vaccine clinical trial.

Equatorial Guinea is the second country in Africa to sponsor a malaria vaccine clinical trial. President Obiang has reaffirmed the government's commitment to fight the disease, which is endemic in West and Central Africa. 

During the interview, Minister Nsue Milang said that the vaccine has a 90% efficiency score. When talking about the partnership’s background, he said, “We participated in a world conference on malaria, in South Africa, where most scientists were convinced that the Sanaria vaccine is working well and that it is currently most promising.”

Equatorial Guinea is in the pre-elimination phase of malaria, the government is committed to make a financial contribution to the research. They will also help with clinical trials. The first clinical trial will start in March.

“We are making all the necessary preparations. We have created an ethics committee, which is examining all the pros and cons. We have chosen an area where the vaccine clinical trial will take place. 33 male adults, between 18 and 35 years old, will participate in the trial and receive one dose, two doses, and three doses in a progressive way. We will monitor the effectiveness and safety of the vaccine and any side effects that may arise,” said Minister Nsue Milang.

Minister of Health and Social Welfare also talked about the importance of the malaria vaccine clinical trial and how it will benefit the country. “Indeed, it will be a big step for us, because the effort we are making with this trial, together with the support from the oil companies and the government’s efforts, will help us reach the malaria elimination stage. The government is not only sponsoring the vaccine trials to take place in Equatorial Guinea but has also offered an economic contribution starting at $1 million for the first phase, which may increase to more than $40 million in the third stage if we see that the vaccine will be successful.