Drug-resistant malaria a cause for deep concern: WHOListen /
The emergence of drug-resistant malaria in the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) is a worrying challenge to malaria control and elimination efforts.
And the World Health Organization (WHO) has warned that it must be tackled urgently.
Resistance to the front-line anti-malarial drug artemisinin was first confirmed on the Cambodia–Thailand border in 2008 and has now also been detected in Myanmar and Viet Nam.
WHO Regional Director for the Western Pacific, Dr Shin Young-soo says "The emergence of artemisinin resistance could undo the enormous progress made towards malaria control and elimination—and potentially pose a serious global health threat." He said "Key development partners strongly support WHO's efforts. However, the UN health agency still faces "a funding gap of at least US$ 450 million over the next three years. The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria has pledged US$ 100 million and a regional proposal has just been submitted."
Malaria is endemic in 10 of the 37 countries and areas in the Western Pacific Region—Cambodia, China, the Lao People's Democratic Republic, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, the Republic of Korea, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and Viet Nam.
Donn Bobb, United Nations.