MALARIA DRUGS LESS EFFECTIVE

Posted in Blog on 6th March 2018

The best treatment currently available for the treatment of malaria is Artemisinin-based combination therapy or (ACT). Up until last year ACT had been working very well and it was predicted that malaria would be eradicated in Thailand and Cambodia in the next decade. However, since last year, resistance to ACT has become increasingly common along the Thai Cambodia border. This is a matter of great concern as there is no other anti-malaria treatment in the pipeline and so, if full Artemisinin resistance occurs, then malaria will spread unhindered. Artemisinin is derived from the plant Artemisia annua and has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for centuries to treat malaria.

Artemisinin is derived from the plant Artemisia annua and has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for centuries to treat malaria.

In all probability the more Atemisin or ACT used the quicker resistance will build up. This is a similar scenario to anti-biotics with the important difference that there is no other drug, not even in the research stage, to combat malaria once resistance has set in. Interestingly, a scientist named R. Laxminarayan predicted that Plasmodium falciparum (The parasite responsible for malaria.) would become resistant back in 2005. This wasn’t too much of a mind-stretch, as the parasite has built resistant to every other anti-malarial over the years. He advocated sustainable use of Artimisinins & ACTs , by using them more sparingly they would be stronger for longer. Of course its easy to say and a mindfield to put into practice. Another way avoiding malaria & therefore ACT as well is not to get bitten in the first place. incognito is shortly bringing out a spray that has been clinically proven to protect against malaria and there are many other options too. They all rely in conjunction with using a long lasting impregnated net  (LLI). In this case defence is the best form of attack!

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