Malaria control under threat from drug resistant parasites

Global malaria control efforts could suffer a major setback unless urgent measures are taken to stop resistance to the most effective anti-malaria drug currently available, according to the World Health Organization or WHO.

Child sick with malaria

WHO says the artemisinin based drug is currently the most effective weapon in treating malaria and widespread resistance could be catastrophic.

Derrick Mbatha reports.

Areas on the Cambodia-Thailand border have already reported resistance to the artemisinin based drugs.

Launching a global plan for Artemisinin Resistance Containment ,WHO Director General Dr. Margaret Chan said the loss of artemisinin as an effective treatment would likely result in a significant increase in malaria-related deaths.

She said the new plan would take advantage of an unprecedented opportunity in the history of malaria control: to stop the emergence of drug resistance at its source and prevent it spreading further.

WHO estimates that the number of malaria cases has fallen by more than 50% in 43 countries over the past decade.

Derrick Mbatha, United Nations.

(duration: 52″) 

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