In October, Ghana’s Ministry of Health plans to begin a national program to eliminate malaria with the goal of being the first country in Africa to eradicate the disease, George Sipa-Adjah Yankey, the minister of health, said recently at the 74th Annual Conference of the Pharmaceutical Society of Ghana in Accra, Ghana, GNA/Homepage Ghana reports.
Artemisinin, the “basis of the most effective” malaria treatment recommended by the WHO, took nearly twice as long to clear malaria parasites in patients in western Cambodia than it did in patients in northwestern Thailand, according to a New England Journal of Medicine study, which shows the “drugs are losing their power against the disease in Cambodia,” Bloomberg reports.
PBS’ Online NewsHour examines how “poor-quality and counterfeit malaria drugs” in Cambodia is contributing to a “growing resistance to treatment for the disease near the Thai-Cambodian border.”
The Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) asked state drug licensing authorities to avoid authorizing new licenses for single drug formulations of artemisinin and withdraw existing licences for these types of drugs by the end of this month, livemint.com reports.
Researchers have sequenced the genomes of two parasites that cause bilharzia or schistosomiasis â€“ a disease transmitted by water-borne snails that affects more than 200 million people worldwide â€“ “revealing potential weaknesses that could be exploited by drug developers,” Nature reports.
Almost half of all artemisinin manufacturers and malaria-endemic countries are “failing to comply” with WHO requirements to sell the treatment in combination with other drugs, which is increasing the risk that malaria parasites will develop resistance to artemsinin, Nature reports.
VOA News reports that fake pharmaceuticals pose a greater risk to stability and human security in West Africa than illegal drug trafficking, according to U.N. Office Against Drugs and Crime report.
“The White House, months before flu season, will roll out the big guns Thursday for a swine flu preparedness summit, underscoring the importance the Obama administration is placing on the pandemic,” CNN reports.
Within the next few days, the WHO “will recommend that countries stop trying to test all suspected cases of swine flu, said Keiji Fukuda, the agencyâ€™s assistant director-general of health security and environment,” Tuesday during a conference call with reporters, Bloomberg reports.
WHO leaders and international health ministers met Thursday for a two-day meeting in Cancun, Mexico, to share the lessons learned from the spread of H1N1 (swine flu) (Xinhua, 7/3) and strategies for “battling the pandemic,” the AP/Washington Post reports.