News / Health

UN Calls for Unity to Fight Drug-Resistant Malaria

A scientist prepares a blood sample in a laboratory at the Center for Scientific Research Caucaseco in the outskirts of Cali, Colombia, April 25, 2012.A scientist prepares a blood sample in a laboratory at the Center for Scientific Research Caucaseco in the outskirts of Cali, Colombia, April 25, 2012.
x
A scientist prepares a blood sample in a laboratory at the Center for Scientific Research Caucaseco in the outskirts of Cali, Colombia, April 25, 2012.
A scientist prepares a blood sample in a laboratory at the Center for Scientific Research Caucaseco in the outskirts of Cali, Colombia, April 25, 2012.
TEXT SIZE - +
Ron Corben
BANGKOK — Health ministers from the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) are being asked to support United Nations efforts to stem the spread of drug-resistant strains of malaria, especially along the borders of Cambodia and Burma. 

Scientists fear resistant strains of malaria may spread beyond South East Asia, reaching continents such as Africa, a region with many victims of the mosquito-borne parasite.

Thomas Teuscher, executive director of the United Nations-backed Roll Back Malaria Partnership (RBM), says more effort is needed to ensure that drug-resistant malaria at least remains localized in South East Asia.

"Right now we need to intensify our attention and action in a way to keep the world safe from malaria epidemics in the future by making sure the medicines we use at present remain useful for as long as possible - so the topic of containing the spread of drug resistance in the Great Mekong Region," Teuscher said.

The World Health Organization (WHO) - a key supporter in RBM - together with the World Bank and United Nations agencies, says malaria threatens 2.2 billion people in 20 countries across the Asia Pacific region with 330 million at risk in the ASEAN countries alone.

In 2010 the Asia Pacific region had 28 million cases of malaria with 38,000 lives lost. Over 90 per cent of the deaths occurred in India, Bangladesh, Indonesia, and Papua New Guinea.

Health officials have been alarmed by the growing numbers of malaria patients in Thailand and Cambodia and in the border regions of Malaysia.

Scientists blame the consumption of single-use drugs and sales of fake drugs as the key reasons for the growing drug resistance.  Teuscher says the concerns are growing that drug treatments will fail at some point.

"At present it is the threat of drug resistance - to site the World Health Organization correctly - it takes more time to clear the parasite in the blood of malaria patients at present. But the drug still eventually cures people but it just takes a lot more time. So that is a strong indication that the drug might at some point not work at all anymore."

Teuscher called for more cross border cooperation to contain the threat of drug-resistant malaria from spreading. But he says to succeed it requires "perfect case" management of all malaria fevers, avoidance of mono-therapies and careful monitoring.

He is hopeful with sufficient resources malaria may eventually be wiped out.

"We can go very far and it is mostly an issue of political commitment to deploy that vision at the strategic background in the right place of course and to then mobilize a broad range of financial and human resources to make that happen," Teuscher added.  "It is possible, if I were young, one could probably say with an effort, this commitment, we can achieve it over the next 30 years, but it requires harmonized vision."

The two days of meetings in Phuket, Thailand are set to conclude Friday with discussions also on control of chronic non-communicable diseases, such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes and chronic lung diseases.

Other topics are universal health care, tobacco controls, the spread of the AIDS virus in urban areas as well as emergency disaster management.

ASEAN health ministers and officials are being joined in the talks with ministers from China, Japan and South Korea.

You May Like

Multimedia Parents of Disaster Ferry Passengers Lash Out at Authorities

Twenty-nine bodies recovered from water but some 270 remain trapped on board More

War Legacy Haunts Vietnam, US Relations

US congressional delegation initiates $84 million Agent Orange cleanup project More

Wikipedia Proves Useful for Tracking Flu

Technique gave better results than Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Google’s Flu Trends More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: andrew lyasimba from: sumbawanga tanzania
July 07, 2012 2:17 AM
We thanks to the WHO for more cooperation to avoid this dangerours desease malaria so i advice the people of this country to us mosqutor net so as to avoid lost of their life.
And the doctors and nurses they must advice their people about the importance of using net.
GOD HELP ALL OF THEM AND MAKE THEM ALIVE.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politicsi
X
Michael Eckels
April 19, 2014
There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politics

There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid