New malaria so­lu­tions needed in South­east Asia

Southeast Asia Globe - - Health -

Malaria re­mains a press­ing is­sue in South­east Asia, with 14.6 mil­lion or 7% of global cases oc­cur­ring in the re­gion in 2016 and a rise in cases that the new­est and best drugs are un­able treat. Poverty, poor san­i­ta­tion, a lack of dis­ease sur­veil­lance, mi­gra­tion and low qual­ity or coun­ter­feit drugs are among the con­tribut­ing fac­tors to the con­tin­ued spread of malaria, ac­cord­ing to a re­cent study by the Kaiser Fam­ily Foun­da­tion. Rec­om­mended treatment in­cludes tak­ing a se­ries of fast act­ing artemisinin-based com­bi­na­tion com­pounds in com­bi­na­tion with drugs that si­mul­ta­ne­ously at­tack the par­a­site. But strains of malaria re­sis­tant to mul­ti­ple drugs have been found in the re­gion, as well as mos­qui­tos that show sign of re­sis­tance to in­sec­ti­cides. Ex­perts have been alarmed by the rise in re­sis­tance and have called for the devel­op­ment of ge­netic se­quenc­ing ef­forts that could al­low re­gional pro­grams to re­spond im­me­di­ately to the par­a­site's evo­lu­tion­ary changes.

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