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Guilin Pharma Collaborate with Uganda Pediatric Association on Updating Management of Severe Malaria
Date: Jul.2.2012
 

 
A scientific symposium for the Uganda Pediatric Association to promote the use of a new drug Artesun®, artesunate powder for injection was done at Kampala on June 15 2012. The workshop was run by the Ministry of Health and cosponsored by Uganda Pediatric Association and Guilin Pharma.

Dr Peter Okui, Manager of Uganda National Malaria Control Program, was invited to present Uganda’s new malaria treatment policy in which IV artesunate is now recommended to replace quinine as the first line treatment for severe malaria in both adults and children. Dr. Okui said, "If all severe malaria cases are treated with artesunate instead of quinine, 25,000 lives would be saved every year in Uganda."

Dr. Jane Achan, the president of UPA, said that artesunate had a better clinical outcome than quinine. "Artesunate is much more efficacious. It is easier to administer, has fewer side-effects like reduced convulsions, less frequent comas and hypoglycemia and is comparable in cost to quinine. This is a timely intervention because severe malaria is an emergency with 100% mortality if not treated properly."

Dr. Okui said training of health workers on how to administer IV artesunate was going on. The drug will be rolled out in government health facilities gradually replacing IV quinine. He added that the drug would be available free-of-charge. Dr. Okui, however, advises health workers to use the available treatment to save lives as they await the stocking of artesunate.

The ministry of health approved artesunate, a China-made drug, as the priority drug for severe malaria both in children and adults, replacing quinine, which has been used for over a decade.

The new drug was recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) after studies conducted in Asia and Africa showed a reduction in mortality and mobility.

The injectable medicine is said to be rapidly absorbed into the body within five miniutes compared to quinine which takes over 30 minutes.  In south east Asia, a 2005 study discovered that the use of artesunate resulted in 35% fewer deaths in adults. A similar study was done in nine African countries resulting in to relative reduction of death rates by 23% in children.

Malaria is Africa's leading cause of mortality in children under the age of five. In Uganda, malaria is endemic in over 95% of the country, with the highest malaria transmission intensities reported in the world.

Uganda has the world's highest malaria incidence, with a rate of 478 cases per 1,000 people per year, according to the WHO's world malaria report of 2005.  

Over 200 UPA members and physicians of Kampala attended the workshop. The workshop also invited people from some international and local NGOs to participate, NGOs such as CHAI, malaria Consortium, etc. 
 
                                                           
 

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