News / Health

WHO Urges Action to Prevent Resistance to Anti-Malarial Drug

Margaret Chan, Director General of the World Health Organization, delivers her statement during the launch of the global plan to prevent resistance to potent malaria treatment at the WHO headquarters, Geneva, Switzerland, Jan 12, 2011
Margaret Chan, Director General of the World Health Organization, delivers her statement during the launch of the global plan to prevent resistance to potent malaria treatment at the WHO headquarters, Geneva, Switzerland, Jan 12, 2011
Lisa Schlein

The World Health Organization is calling for urgent action to prevent the spread of resistance to artemisinin-based combination therapies, the most effective treatments for malaria. WHO is launching a new action plan to protect what it calls the most potent weapon in treating this deadly disease.

The discovery of resistance to artemisinins along the Cambodia-Thailand border in 2008 set off the alarm bells. This is because these medicines are the most effective treatment for falciparum malaria, the most deadly form of the disease.

Director-General of the World Health Organization, Margaret Chan, said artemisinin, in combination with another anti-malarial drugs, increases the likelihood of killing the malaria parasites.

“The usefulness of these therapies is now under threat… over the past several decades, we have lost one front-line medicine after another as resistance has developed, become established, and then rapidly spread internationally, making all these drugs useless," said Chan. "And this is no exaggeration for me to say that the consequences of wide-spread resistance to artemisinins would be catastrophic.”  

WHO notes tremendous progress has been made over the past decade in the fight against malaria. It estimates the number of malaria cases has fallen by more than half in more than 43 countries.   

A recent analysis in 34 African countries finds more than 730,000 lives have been saved between 2000 and 2010, nearly three quarters of them since 2006. This is when the use of insecticide-treated mosquito nets and artemesinin-combination therapies became more widespread.

Public health officials say many lives will be lost if the emergence of artemisinin resistance is not stopped dead in its tracks.  

Coordinator for the WHO Global Malaria Program, Dr. Pascal Ringwald, said that WHO’s five-step global action plan aims to do just that. “What we try to do is to try to stop the spread of resistance… using better treatment, doing a lot of vector control and education of the population. We must also increase the monitoring of anti-malaria drug efficacity. This means that we have to see if the drug is still effective and if artemesinin (resistance) is not emerging in any other places.”  

Ringwald said it is important to improve diagnostic testing to make sure people are being treated for malaria and not for fever arising from other causes. He said new anti-malarial medicines must be developed to eventually replace the artemisinins.

And finally, Ringwald said the success of the global plan will depend on getting the money needed to implement its measures. That amount comes to $175 million a year.






You May Like

UN: 1 Million Somalis at Risk of Hunger

Group warns region is in dire need of humanitarian aid, with at least 200,000 children under age of five acutely malnourished as drought hits southern, central part of nation More

Human Rights Groups Allege Supression of Freedoms in Thailand

Thailand’s military, police have suppressed release of independent report assessing human rights in kingdom during first 100 days of latest coup More

Jennifer Lawrence Contacts FBI After Nude Photos Hacked

'Silver Linings Playbook' actress' photos were posted on image-sharing forum 4chan; Federal Bureau of Investigations is looking into matter More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forcesi
X
September 02, 2014 12:58 PM
A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forces

A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video US Detainees Want Negotiators for Freedom in North Korea

The three U.S. detainees held in North Korea were permitted to speak with foreign media Monday. The government of Kim Jong Un restricted the topics of the questions, and the interviews in Pyongyang were limited to five minutes. Each of the men asked Washington to send a representative to Pyongyang to secure his release. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti has our story.
Video

Video Internet, Technology Offer New Tools for Journalists

The Internet and rapidly evolving technology is quickly changing how people receive news and how journalists deliver it. There are now more ways to tell a story than ever before. One school in Los Angeles is teaching the next generation of journalists with the help of a state-of-the-art newsroom. Elizabeth Lee has this report.
Video

Video Turkmen From Amerli Describe Survival of IS Siege

Over the past few weeks, hundreds of Shi'ite Turkmen have fled the town of Amerli seeking refuge in the northern city of Kirkuk. Despite recent military gains after U.S. airstrikes that were coordinated with Iraqi and Kurdish forces, the situation remains dire for Amerli’s residents. Sebastian Meyer went to Kirkuk for VOA to speak to those who managed to escape.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Jewish Ghetto

When the German Nazi army occupied the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered at the Union League Club in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.
Video

Video Cost to Raise Child in US Continues to Rise

The cost of raising a child in the United States continues to rise. In its latest annual report, the U.S. Department of Agriculture says middle income families with a child born in 2013 can expect to spend more than $240,000 before that child turns 18. And sending that child to college more than doubles that amount. VOA’s Deborah Block visited with a couple with one child in Alexandria, Virginia, to learn if the report reflects their lifestyle.
Video

Video Chaotic Afghan Vote Recount Threatens Nation’s Future

Afghanistan’s troubled presidential election continues to be rocked by turmoil as an audit of the ballots drags on. The U.N. says the recount will not be completed before September 10. Observers say repeated disputes and delays are threatening the orderly transfer of power and could have dangerous consequences. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.

AppleAndroid