today's Pick
Drug-resistant malaria spreading fast
Publish Date: Jul 31, 2014
Drug-resistant malaria spreading fast
Malaria is transmitted by mosquitoes
  • mail
  • img
newvision

Drug-resistant malaria parasites are now firmly established in border regions in four Southeast Asian countries, imperilling global efforts to control the disease, experts warned on Wednesday.

Blood samples taken from 1,241 malaria patients found that parasites which are resistant to the frontline drug artemisinin have spread to border areas in western and northern Cambodia, eastern Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam, they said.

There also signs of emerging resistance in central Myanmar, southern Laos and northeastern Cambodia, but none in three African states -- Kenya, Nigeria and Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) -- that were included in the sampling.

The study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, said doubling the course of antimalarial treatment, from three days to six, could help fight the resistance problem but time was short.

"It may still be possible to prevent the spread of artemisinin-resistant malaria parasites across Asia and then to Africa by eliminating them, but that window of opportunity is closing fast," said Nicholas White, a professor of tropical medicine at Oxford University, England.

"Conventional malaria control approaches won't be enough -- we will need to take more radical action and make this a global public health priority, without delay."

Southeast Asia has been the source of growing worries that artemisinin is losing its edge as the weapon of choice against malaria.

If so, it will be the third time in little more than half a century that a drug will have been blunted by parasites that became resistant to it -- a process that has claimed millions of lives.

From the 1950s to the 1970s, parasites that were resistant to the drug chloroquine spread from Asia to Africa. AFP 

 

The statements, comments, or opinions expressed through the use of New Vision Online are those of their respective authors, who are solely responsible for them, and do not necessarily represent the views held by the staff and management of New Vision Online.

New Vision Online reserves the right to moderate, publish or delete a post without warning or consultation with the author.Find out why we moderate comments. For any questions please contact digital@newvision.co.ug

  • mail
  • img
blog comments powered by Disqus
Also In This Section
Dubai overtakes Heathrow as top international airport
Dubai airport has soared ahead of London's Heathrow, riding a boom in long-haul flights between Asia and the West to become the world's top international travel hub, it said Tuesday...
Survivors return to Auschwitz after 70 years
SEVENTY years after the liberation of Auschwitz, ageing survivors and dignitaries gather at the site synonymous with the Holocaust...
Americans still confusing Sikhs for Muslims
MORE than a decade after 9/11, Americans who come across a turban-wearing Sikh are still prone to mistaking him for a Muslim...
Zambia
ZAMBIA'S newly-elected President Edgar Lungu dropped vice president Guy Scott - who was briefly Africa's only white leader...
RESIDENTS of the northeast Nigerian city of Maiduguri have been told to stay and fight, as calm returned after a weekend Boko Haram attack...
Ongwen: victim turned killer
ABDUCTED by gunmen as a 10-year-old boy on his way to school, Dominic Ongwen rose to become one of the most feared commanders in Uganda's brutal Lord's Resistance Army...
Is gambling the cause of poverty amomg youth?
Yes
No
Can't Say
follow us
subscribe to our news letter