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.
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

US Investors Eye IPO for China's Alibaba

E-commerce giant handled 80 percent of China's online business last year, logging more Internet transactions than US-based Amazon.com and eBay combined More

Video Uneasy Calm Settles Over Israel, Gaza Strip

As cease-fire begins, Palestinians celebrate in streets; Israelis remain wary More

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

In treatment of a 12-year-old boy Chinese doctors used a 3-D printer and special software to create an exact replica of vertebra 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.
Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implanti
X
August 27, 2014 4:53 PM
A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Uneasy Calm Settles Over Israel, Gaza Strip

Israel and the Gaza Strip have been calm since a cease-fire set in Tuesday evening, ending seven weeks of hostilities. Hamas, which controls Gaza, declared victory. Israelis were more wart. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video India’s Leprosy Battle Stymied by Continuing Stigma

Medical advancements in the treatment of leprosy have greatly diminished its impact around the world, largely eliminating the disease from most countries. India made great strides in combating leprosy, but still accounts for a majority of the world’s new cases each year, and the number of newly infected Indians is rising - more than 130,000 recorded last year. Doctors there say the problem has more to do with society than science. VOA News reports from Kolkata.
Video

Video Northern California Quake: No Way to Know When Next One Will Hit

A magnitude 6.0 earthquake rocked northern California’s Napa Valley on Sunday. Roads twisted and water mains burst. It was the wine country’s most severe quake in 15 years, and while hospitals treated many people, no one was killed. Arash Arabasadi has more from Washington on what the future may hold for those residents living on a fault line.
Video

Video Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocks

How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ukraine: Captured Troops Proof of Russian Role in Separatist Fight

Ukrainian officials say they have captured Russian soldiers on Ukrainian territory -- the latest accusation of Moscow's involvement in the conflict in eastern Ukraine. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the Ukrainian side of the battle, where soldiers are convinced of Russia's role.
Video

Video Rubber May Soon Come From Dandelions

Synthetic rubber has been around for more than a century, but quality tires for cars, trucks and aircraft still need up to 40 percent or more natural rubber content. As the source of natural rubber, the rubber tree, is prone to disease and can be affected by bad weather. So scientists are looking for replacements. And as VOA’s George Putic reports, they may have found one in a ubiquitous weed.
Video

Video Jewish Life in Argentina Reflected in Yiddish Tango

Jewish people from across Europe and Russia have been immigrating to Argentina for hundreds of years. They brought with them dance music that were eventually mixed with Argentine tango. The result is Yiddish tango -- a fusion of melodies and cultural experiences that is still evolving today. Elizabeth Lee reports from the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles, where one band is bringing Yiddish tango to an American audience.

AppleAndroid