Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Africa: victim of poor quality malaria drugs

Africans suffering from malaria may be receiving sub-standard treatment; this is according to a study released by US based experts. The Pharmacopeia group researchers revealed that between 26% and 44% of anti-malaria drugs in Madagascar, Senegal and Uganda were of poor quality.
Low-quality drugs were being used in both public and private health practice.

90% of those lost their life for malaria in the world happened in Africa, according to the report.

The experts subjected 200 samples of anti-malaria drugs to quality-control testing in a US laboratory, BBC reported.

44% of the drugs from Senegal failed the testing, followed by 30% from Madagascar and 26% from Uganda, researchers said.

They also studied drugs from seven other countries - Cameroon, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Nigeria and Tanzania, but have not yet released results from that data.

Half of the world's population is at risk of malaria, and an estimated 243 million cases led to estimated 863 000 deaths in 2008, WHO said.

WHO's malaria programme chief, Robert Newman, said low-grade versions of the drug could increase resistance because they would not kill all of the parasites.

"There are a number of things that need to be done - as a global community we need to support countries in strengthening their regulatory controls," he added.

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