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Malawi, China in malaria project

Publisher:The Nation Time:2018-09-19Browse:121 font size:【large】【middle】【small

Malawi, China in malaria project

 

Malawi and China through the Guangzhou University of Chinese Medicine are expected to sign an agreement that will see the country benefiting from an anti-malaria project.

The university has an initiative called the Fast Elimination of Malaria by Source Eradication (FEMSE) strategy through mass drug administration with artemisinin based combination therapies to eliminate malaria.

The initiative follows the success story of FEMSE in Comoros Island in 2006 where for eight years, about 800 000 people were part of the project which achieved success from high epidemic to a low one without malaria death in a short period.

Deng: The medicine works on the parasites in the body

In an interview after a group of African journalists toured the university, one of the lead members, Dr. Deng Chang Sheng, said a similar project will be replicated in Malawi to a much bigger population.

He said: “Before 2013, malaria cases in Comoros Island were at 16 000, but after the project, the number drastically reduced by 98 percent to 2000.

“The medicine works on the parasites in the body so that they do not get transmitted to the next body by mosquitoes. Artemisinin will make a significant contribution to Africa where malaria is one of the killer diseases.

“In Malawi, we plan to cooperate with the Ministry of Health and the project will start in Salima and Dowa with an initial target of one million people in the first phase. By the end of the 10 years, which is the span of the project, we plan to reach out to a large population.”

He stated that while millions of people are dying on the continent due to malaria, there is need to change concentration in terms of prevention of the disease.

“There is need to focus on different approaches to eradicate malaria like paying attention to the source, in this case, the body. It is actually easy to control the parasite in humans. The anti-malaria project we are trying to promote in Malawi will also be replicated in Togo, Congo Brazzaville as well as Sao Tome and Principe,” said the doctor.

Minister of Health Peter Kumpalume, in a telephone interview, confirmed that there is a potential collaboration with Guangzhou to eradicate malaria.

“There is indeed a proposal to do mass drug administration starting in Dowa and Salima. However, it is not just about an agreement between the governments. There is also need for procedure to authorise a clinical trial in Malawi. A memorandum of understanding [MoU] will be signed at a later date,” explained Kumpalume.

Malaria is one of the leading killers in the country. It is estimated that Malawi records 380 cases of malaria per 1 000 of the country’s population and at least 3 000 deaths a year. n

Source: https://mwnation.com/malawi-china-in-malaria-project/

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