World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


WHO Warns Of Shortage Of Anti-Malarial Drug

WHO Warns Of Shortage Of Anti-Malarial Drug, Suggests Alternatives

As increasing demand for artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT) for malaria is likely to result in a shortage in the next four months, the United Nations public health agency has advised certain countries to be prepared to use alternative medicines.

"Countries where malaria is resistant to conventional treatment such as chloroquine should switch to ACTs," the Geneva-based World Health Organization (WHO) said in a statement, recommending the use of four ACTs: artemether-lumefantrine, artesunate-mefloquine, artesunate-amodiaquine and artesunate-sulfadoxine/pyrimethamine.

As many as 40 countries - half of them in Africa - have officially adopted these medicines since 2001 when WHO concluded an agreement with Novartis Pharma AG. Novartis provides its co-formulated artemether-lumefantrine product (Coartem) to WHO at cost for supply to the public sector of malaria endemic in developing countries.

Coartem, which is the only ACT that has been pre-qualified by WHO, is accepted for procurement by UN agencies.

The demand for artemether-lumefantrine has increased since 2001, when WHO requested 220,000 treatment courses for the public sector. In 2004, demand of 10 million treatment courses was forecast. For 2005, WHO projects demand for 60 million treatment courses.

WHO said it would be unable to procure the quantities of artemether-lumefantrine required by countries during the coming months due to insufficient supply of the drug from Novartis' Chinese suppliers.

Recommending the use of quinine as "second-line" anti-malarial treatment, the UN agency said it would offer technical assistance to any country facing interrupted supply of artemether-lumefantrine.

© Scoop Media

World Headlines


At The UN: Paris Climate Agreement Moves Closer To Entry Into Force

The Paris Agreement on climate change moved closer toward entering into force in 2016 as 31 more countries joined the agreement today at a special event hosted by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. More>>



Gordon Campbell: On The End Game In Spain (And Other World News)

The coverage of international news seems almost entirely dependent on a random selection of whatever some overseas news agency happens to be carrying overnight... Here are a few interesting international stories that have largely flown beneath the radar this past week. More>>

Amnesty/Human Rights Watch: Appalling Abuse, Neglect Of Refugees On Nauru

Refugees and asylum seekers on Nauru, most of whom have been held there for three years, routinely face neglect by health workers and other service providers who have been hired by the Australian government, as well as frequent unpunished assaults by local Nauruans. More>>


Other Australian Detention

Gordon Campbell: On The Censorship Havoc In South Africa’s State Broadcaster

Demands have included an order to staff that there should be no further negative news about the country’s President Jacob Zuma, and SABC camera operators responsible for choosing camera angles that have allegedly made the President ‘look shorter’ were to be retrained... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On A Bad Week For Malcolm Turnbull, And The Queen

Malcolm Turnbull’s immediate goal – mere survival – is still within his grasp... In every other respect though, this election has been a total disaster for the Liberals. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Bidding Bye Bye To Boris

Boris Johnson’s exit from the contest for Conservative Party leadership supports the conspiracy theory that he never really expected the “Leave” option to win the referendum – and he has no intention now of picking up the poisoned chalice that managing the outcome will entail... More>>


Get More From Scoop

Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news