Malawi is rolling out a malaria vaccine pilot programme for children on Tuesday in a bid to prevent the disease which kills hundreds of thousands across Africa each year.

The RTS,S vaccine, the first to give partial protection to children, trains the immune system to attack the malaria parasite, which is spread by mosquitos.

After more than three decades in development and almost $1bn in investment, the cutting-edge vaccine is being rolled out in Malawi's capital Lilongwe followed by Kenya and Ghana in the coming weeks.

Children between 5 months and 2 years of age will be inoculated and, according to the WHO, the vaccine will reach some 360,000 children a year until the end of 2022 across the three countries.

Malawi, Kenya and Ghana were selected for the pilot introduction due to the high number of malaria cases they record.

"There are over 250,000 deaths of children in Africa every year because of malaria," Mary Hamel, the coordinator for the Malaria Vaccine Implementation Programme at the World Health Organization told the DPA news agency.

"It's intolerable, the devastating effect for the families, societies. It's the potential to save so many children's lives that makes this vaccine so exciting."

'Provides partial protection'

The protein-based RTS,S vaccine went through five years of clinical trials on 15,000 people in seven countries.

In one clinical trial, children who received doses of the vaccine had a lower chance of developing malaria and severe malaria, the WHO says.

A study showed that the innovative vaccine prevented about four in 10 malaria cases among children and "overall, there were 29 percent fewer cases of severe malaria in children who received the vaccine."

Hamel said that while the vaccine wasn't a perfect solution, the "WHO expects this vaccine could have considerable impact".

"It is the world's first malaria vaccine that has been shown to provide partial protection against malaria in young children".

These sentiments were echoed by Pedro Alonso, director of WHO's Global Malaria Programme, who told DPA: "The fight against malaria is one where we use imperfect tools; only when we combine them can we achieve great impact. This malaria vaccine adds a tool to our toolkit."

"This vaccine will be rolled out at a time when progress in the global malaria response has stalled," he added, noting that a resurgence of the disease has been seen in some countries that had once achieved great progress.




Secretary-General of the Kurdistan Islamic Union, on Tuesday, received the Iraqi ambassador to the Vatican State Sheikh Omar al-Barzanji.

In the meeting, Salahuddin Mohammed Bahaauddin thanked the ambassador for his success and excellence in his diplomatic work, praised his role in bringing together different religions and opinions.

After the end of the work of Sheikh Omar al-Barzanji in the State of the Vatican, is schedule to take the functions of the Iraqi Embassy in the State of Qatar, on this occasion Secretary-General on behalf of the leaders of the Kurdistan Islamic Union congratulated Sheikh Omar, wishing him success in Qatar.

Kirkuk Governorate Council failed to hold its meeting, Tuesday, for lack of quorum.

Informed sources said that the council decided to postpone the meeting for a week because of the lack of quorum.

The session was scheduled to discuss several topics, including the re-selection of the Legal Committee and the appointment of the Chairman of the Committee Article 140 in the Council.

According to the agenda of the meeting, it was scheduled to discuss the recommendations of the Legal Committee on petrodollar projects in the province.

University of Soran, north of Erbil, announced the killing of a university professor in Nigeria by the group "Boko Haram".

The media official at the Faculty of Arts at the University of Soran Farouk Aziz, in a press statement said that a former professor at the Faculty of Arts at the university of Soran was killed Monday evening in Nigeria by the group "Boko Haram".

Aziz said the professor called "Faye Elizabeth", a European, indicating that it is not yet known how and the reasons for her murder, indicating that it is likely to have been killed in a hotel.

The professor had been teaching in the Department of English at the Faculty of Arts at the University of Sulaymaniyah for several years.

The security authorities in the province of Duhok on Tuesday announced the arrest of 12 accused in Zakho on various charges including extortion girls and threat them of publishing their photos on social networking sites.

Duhok police spokesman Hemn Suleiman told a news conference today that security forces arrested 12 wanted men in Zakho on charges of theft, gambling, extortion of girls and threat them of publishing their photos on social media sites.

He added that four of suspects are specialized in stealing houses, pointing out that 3 of them had been arrested for gambling.

Sulaiman said that five of the suspects were involved in blackmailing girls, threatening to publish their photos on social media.

He noted that among those 12 accused there is a suspect for sexual harassment of a girl , as well as one of the accused arrested for drug use.

Muslim parliamentarians and members of a Muslim group in Sri Lanka have paid a condolence visit to the Archbishop Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith, following the terror attacks in the country that claimed 310 lives. 

According to a press release issued by Mufti M.I.M Rizwe, President of All Ceylon Jamiyyathul Ulama, Ranjith said preserving peace and religious harmony between the communities is important especially at difficult times.

“Both parties emphasized on further strengthening of the good relationship that exists among the communities, for the betterment of our Motherland,” the press release said.

“They also pledged to offer the fullest support in carrying out the necessary actions to be meted out on the perpetrators and terrorists,” it added.

On Easter Sunday, at least 310 people were killed and 500 others injured when a total of eight explosions targeted eight different locations in and outside Colombo, the capital of Sri Lanka.

The bombings hit churches in Kochchikade, Negombo and Batticaloa cities, as well as Kingsbury, Cinnamon Grand and Shangri La hotels in Colombo.

“Evil and brutal acts committed by individuals of a community doesn't portray the whole community at large,” the press release quoted Ranjith as saying.

“At this moment of great tragedy, let us all join together in solidarity and face the challenges with mutual love and respect to move forward as Sri Lankans. We pray to Almighty Allah that He eases the pain of all who were affected and grant His mercy to them,” the release added.

Several areas in the Kurdistan region, Monday, have seen snowfall, especially in mountainous areas.

Security sources said the snow had blocked some of the main road near the border with Turkey.

A total of 39 foreign nationals, including two Turkish people, lost their lives in Sunday's multiple terror attacks in Sri Lanka, local media reported on Monday.

A total of eight explosions targeting churches and hotels in and outside the capital Colombo left at least 290 people dead and over 500 others injured on Easter Sunday.

Turkey, Japan, the U.K., Denmark, India, the Netherlands, China, Australia and Portugal are the countries that have confirmed casualties of their citizens.

The bombings hit churches in Kochchikade, Negombo and Batticaloa cities, as well as Kingsbury, Cinnamon Grand and Shangri La hotels in Colombo.

Among the victims were two citizens from Turkey, eight from the U.K. -- two of them with the dual U.S. citizenship --, five Indian nationals, three from Denmark, two Chinese and Australian citizens each, and one from Portugal, Japan and the Netherlands each.

There was a petrol bomb attack on a mosque in the northwestern district of Puttalum and arson attacks on two shops owned by Muslims in the western district of Kalutara on Sunday night, according to police reports.

The nationalities of the remaining 14 are yet to be announced.

Meanwhile, the Sri Lankan officials have not shared any information about the identities of the deceased.

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