Health Ministers From Southeast Asia Asked To Support U.N. In Stemming Spread Of Drug-Resistant Malaria In Region

“Health ministers from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) are being asked to support United Nations efforts to stem the spread of drug-resistant strains of malaria, especially along the borders of Cambodia and Burma,” VOA News reports. “Scientists fear resistant strains of malaria may spread beyond Southeast Asia, reaching continents such as Africa, a region with many victims of the mosquito-borne parasite,” according to the news service. “Thomas Teuscher, executive director of the United Nations-backed Roll Back Malaria Partnership (RBM), says more effort is needed to ensure that drug-resistant malaria at least remains localized in Southeast Asia,” VOA notes.

“Health officials have been alarmed by the growing numbers of malaria patients in Thailand and Cambodia and in the border regions of Malaysia,” the news service writes, noting, “Scientists blame the consumption of single-use drugs and sales of fake drugs as the key reasons for the growing drug resistance.” According to the news service, “Teuscher called for more cross border cooperation to contain the threat of drug-resistant malaria from spreading,” but “he says to succeed it requires ‘perfect case’ management of all malaria fevers, avoidance of mono-therapies and careful monitoring” (Corben, 7/5).