The spread of drug resistant malaria parasites is seen on the Southeast Asian borders and global efforts for controlling and eliminating this disease are being threatened, as per researchers.
Blood samples were analyzed by the scientists in 10 countries from 1241 patients across Africa and Asia and resistance to artemisinin, the most effective antimalerial drug in the world, was found to be widespread in Southeast Asia. However, as per a study, no signs of resistance were seen in Democratic Republic of Congo, Nigeria and Kenya.
Professor of Tropical Medicine at Oxford University and Chair of Antimalarial Resistance Network, Nicholas White, who led this research, stated that there is a possibility of preventing these parasites across Africa and Asia, by eliminating them, however, this opportunity seems to close fast.
Half the people in this world are risked by this malarial infection. Although the number of people dying and falling sick from this disease has significantly reduced, more than 6,00,000 people are killed every year. Most of the victims of this dreaded disease are children, under 5, who live in sub-Saharan Africa’s poorest parts.
From 1950 to 1970, the spread of chloroquine-resistant malaria parasites has been seen from Asia-Africa, and this has led to lots of deaths. Sulphadoxine-pyrimethamine has replaced Chloroquine, but there was a subsequent emergence in resistance to SP in Western Cambodia, which spread to Africa again.
Then ACT or Artemisinin Combination Treatment replaced SP and now experts say that history is repeating itself the 3rd time.
He also cautioned that conventional approaches of malaria control aren’t enough. More radical action has to be taken for making this a priority on global public health.
A 6 day antimalarial treatment was received by patients, along with 3 days of artemisinin derivative and 3 day course of ACT. The blood was analysed for measuring the rate at which there was clearance of parasites. Resistance of artemisinin was found in Plasmodium Falciparum, which is the most deadly parasite that causes malaria. Now it is established in Northern Cambodia, Easter Myanmar, Vietnam, Thailand and Western Cambodia.
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