The news that the world’s first malaria drug has been approved for use in Africa will come as a relief to many fighting to eradicate the disease.
The new vaccine, developed the GlaxoSmithKline and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, costs just $5 a time and has been approved by the European Medicines Agency.
It now needs the approval of African health officials.
Although mortality rates from the insect borne disease which attacks the liver and the blood, have fallen by 47 per cent since 2000, one child a minute still dies from the disease.
The disease, which is transmitted by certain mosquitoes who carry the bacteria from host to host, predominantly affects children who contract 75 per cent of all cases.
But in Africa only an estimated 20 per cent of children having access to effective treatment.
Sub-Saharan Africa which, due to its climate where mosquitoes flourish and the fact that just 49 per cent of people have access to mosquito nets, had over 95 per cent of cases reported in 2013.
Children are particularly vulnerable to the disease with with the majority of deaths happening under five. Africa had 528,000 child deaths from Malaria in 2013 compared to zero in Europe during the same period.
For the under-fives it was particularly deadly in the region with Africa recording 96 per cent of all deaths.