Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Malaria Fighter - TIME

Malaria Fighter - TIME:

"Even in Africa, the continent most severely affected by a disease that kills more than a million people each year, Mozambique is considered a hot spot. In some parts of the country, 9 out of 10 kids younger than age 5 are infected with the mosquito-borne parasite that causes malaria. That's why Dr. Pedro Alonso, a Spaniard, in 1996 founded the Manhiça Health Research Centre. The terribly impoverished rural town is the last place you would expect to find a sophisticated medical laboratory. But here, working with a team of mostly Mozambican scientists and backed by the Spanish Agency for International Cooperation, Alonso has been studying malaria on the ground and, for the past four years, testing an extraordinarily promising vaccine against the disease. So far, it's only partly effective, but even in this imperfect form, experts say, it could save millions of lives. 'We're talking about the first solid demonstration of a malaria vaccine,' says Alonso. 'This is a breakthrough.'"