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HPH Weekly: The malaria vaccine is ready for Africa. Now comes the hard part.

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Written by
Jo Zhou
June 6, 2024
Read Time
2 min

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It took decades to get a malaria vaccine. Now comes the hard part.

A group of African women and their children wait on a balcony.
Jerome Delay / AP Photo

After more than 60 years of research, a multi-dose malaria vaccine is finally rolling out across Africa. In pilot campaigns reaching more than two million children, the vaccine reduced severe cases by 30 percent. Paul Adepoju writes that national vaccination campaigns face challenges in supply, distribution, and community trust. But health officials and outreach workers say they are capitalizing on lessons learned from COVID.

Smoothing the way

Book cover: “Hospital Heal Thyself” by Mark Taylor. Book cover is white with a red stethoscope in the shape of a heartbeat.
Courtesy of Wiley

Journalist Mark Taylor’s forthcoming book, Hospital, Heal Thyself, examines the work of mathematician Eugene Litvak, who developed a formula for improving patient flow that can help hospitals address a range of woes. In an excerpt, Taylor takes us inside Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, where Litvak’s methods reduced the likelihood of medical errors, decreased waiting times, and expanded the hospital’s capacity to treat more patients.

Researchers look closer at the placenta

A black-and-white illustration of a placenta.
Nastasic / iStock

For answers on maternal and fetal mortality, researchers are looking to the placenta, writes Undark’s Claire Marie Porter. One researcher says the organ is “critical to support fetal development, so you would think we know everything about it”—but there’s still much to discover, Porter says.

Snapshot: Every organ responds to exercise

Researchers found that exercise changed the metabolism, immune system, and all 19 organs, at a molecular level, in rats. HPH spoke with one of the study’s authors, Sue Bodine.

What we’re reading this week

Menstrual health advocacy in Cameroon →
Think Global Health

What a leading epidemiologist says you should know about the bird flu →
Barn Raiser

Urged on by LGBTQ+ activists, California cities weigh stricter smoking rules →
KFF Health News

PTSD has surged among college students →
The New York Times

How the pandemic gave power to superbugs →

Filed Under
Jo Zhou
Jo Zhou is the social media manager and audience engagement specialist at Harvard Public Health. Read more from Jo Zhou.