posted by www.equatorialguineaonline.com – October 2nd, 2013
During his trip to the United States, on September 23, H.E. Obiang Mbasogo, accompanied by his wife, toured the facilities of the company working on the most advanced vaccine against malaria. Equatorial Guinea supports this project, and will be where its clinical trial will take place; the project managers showed their work to the President.
Sanaria, the company involved in the project of creating a malaria vaccine supported by the Government of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea, one of the two African countries that financially support its research and which will also be the second center where the vaccine’s clinical trials will take place, received the presidential delegation. It is an important international project in which also collaborate the Ifakara Health Institute (IHI) in Tanzania as well as other public and private entities.
Making the most of the Head of State’s trip to the United States to speak at the annual Assembly of the United Nations, the presidential couple was invited to visit the Sanaria laboratories, and thus received more direct information on the work being carried out in the vaccine’s research. The visit was coordinated by Marathon Equatorial Guinea Production Limited (MEGPL), Noble Energy, and Medical Care Development International (MCDI), entities that are also involved in this major international project.
Marvin Rainsdon, MEGPL’s General Manager, received the President of Equatorial Guinea and his wife, and made special mention of the support and commitment of the institutions that, from Equatorial Guinea, have helped with the research of the vaccine, such as the Ministry of Mines, Industry and Energy, the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare and of course, the company Marathon, together with its partners Noble Energy, AMPCO and EGLN.
Then Chris Schwabe, of MCDI, an organization that manages from Malabo the Malaria Control Program on the island of Bioko, also spoke, giving a brief account of the achievements of the last ten years in this job, and explained that the ultimate goal is the elimination of malaria in the next five years.
For his part, the President and founder of Sanaria, Dr. Stephen Hoffman, gave an overview of his company, its mission and purpose, as well as the vaccine program under development. Then they carried out a visit of the laboratory, where they observed a demonstration of the production of the malaria vaccine (PfSPz). In this interesting process, the President and his wife received explanations about the production and infection of mosquitoes, its further dissection to remove the sporozoites that cause malaria and that are used to make the vaccine, as well as the storage and cold chain transportation.
The visit ended with the thanks to the scientists and coordinators of the event. H.E. President Obiang reaffirmed the Government’s commitment to combat this disease that affects many African countries like Equatorial Guinea.