Ghana, Kenya & Malawi have been selected as the three test countries to receive the world’s first ever malaria vaccine in 2018

Malaria is spread by mosquito bites, and the vaccine trains the immune system to attack the malaria parasite, Plasmodium falciparum.

The vaccine has already been endorsed by the World Health Organization, who say it has the potential to save ten of thousands of lives.

The vaccine needs to be given four times – once a month for three months and then a fourth dose 18 months later.

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The number of doses has cast doubt on the real-world viability of the vaccine, particularly in parts of Africa where access to health care is poor.

The aim of the pilot in the three countries is to assess the safety and effectiveness of the vaccination.

Dr Matshidiso Moeti, the WHO regional director for Africa, said: “The prospect of a malaria vaccine is great news.

“Information gathered in the pilot programme will help us make decisions on the wider use of this vaccine.

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“Combined with existing malaria interventions, such a vaccine would have the potential to save tens of thousands of lives in Africa.”

Africa is the hardest-hit region by the disease, with Sub-Saharan Africa accounting for 90% of Malaria cases worldwide in 2015.

The WHO has currently set a 2040 target to wipe out the disease worldwide.