Tanzania's government plans to introduce artemisinin-based combination malaria treatments to prevent the development of drug resistance, the Guardian/IPP Media reports.
The country announced the initiative following recent statements from the World Health Organization indicating that the emergence of artemisinin-resistant malaria parasites along the Thai-Cambodian border could set back malaria control progress worldwide (Navuri, Guardian/IPP Media, 3/4). According to WHO, the use of artemisinin as a monotherapy might have contributed to the development of drug resistance in the region (GlobalHealthReporting.org, 2/26).
Aisha Kigoda, Tanzania's deputy health minister, said the government plans to separate all monotherapy malaria drugs in order to clearly indentify appropriate medications. She said ACTs would help treat complicated malaria cases in the country and prevent the spread of drug resistance. According to WHO, proper ACT use successfully treats more than 90% of malaria cases (Guardian/IPP Media, 3/4).