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Finally… historic malaria vaccine approved

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Did it take too long? The vaccine could prevent malaria spreading and save thousands of lives. But it has taken more than 100 years to make. 

What’s happening? 

Latif Ndeketa is a doctor from MalawiA country in southeastern Africa with a GDP per capita of just 5.29.. When he was growing up, he had an illness called malaria. Millions of people get it each year. Lots of people die from it. 

But now, Latif is celebrating. He has been making a vaccine and it has been approved

Find out more

Malaria is carried by mosquitoes. Every year, it kills 400,000 people.

Experts have been fighting malaria for more than 100 years. They have made drugs. And mosquito nets help stop bites.

The new vaccine could do a much better job of keeping people safe. 

But some say we could have made it sooner. 

Did it take too long?

Some say no. This is a difficult job. We have to do it carefully. There must be lots of tests. We want to keep people safe as well as protect them! 

Others say yes. We have the science to make the vaccine. It only took a long time because rich countries are safe. They did not have a big reason to fight malaria!


Malawi – A country in southeastern Africa with a GDP per capita of just $625.29.

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  • Some people say

    • "It is impossible to calculate the harm malaria has done to the world."
    • Bill Gates (1955 - ), American businessman and philanthropist. He has donated millions of dollars to the fight against malaria.
    • "With tears and toiling breath,
      I find thy cunning seeds,
      O million-murdering Death."
    • Ronald Ross (1957 - 1932), British medical doctor. He wrote this poem the day he proved malaria was transmitted by mosquitoes.
  • Dive in deeper

    •  The historic news of the world's first malaria vaccine. ITV News (2:34)
    •  A brief history of malaria and the fight to eradicate it. Gates Foundation (6:04)

Six steps to discovery

  1. Draw on what you already know, to understand what you do not yet know

    • 1. Read the bold paragraph under the photo. What do you think about this topic?
    • 2. How does it make you feel?
  2. Identify the questions that will best guide your investigation

    • 1. Watch the first video on the Dive in deeper panel.
    • 2. Note the questions it answers and the questions it raises.
  3. Read the article thoughtfully and make sure you understand the key words

    • 1. Make two columns on a sheet of paper. Go through the article noting down factual claims in one column and opinions in the other.
    • 2. Explain why these facts and opinions are important.
  4. Make sense of what you have read and think about the opinions in Some people say

    • 1. Why might the topic of this article matter to you?
    • 2. To make a better world, what kind of things need to change?
  5. Make a case for your point of view

    • 1. If only we were immune from... ? In small groups, think up ideas for vaccines that could make the world a better place. Share your medical inventions with the class.
    • 2. "If rich people died of malaria, we would find a cure tomorrow." Hold a class debate on this statement. 
  6. Describe what you have learned from this inquiry

    • 1. Make a poster to encourage people to take the new malaria vaccine.
    • 2. Research the barriers and solutions to eradicating malaria. Write an action plan to rid the world of the disease by 2100.