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[afro-nets] Malaria News (2 items)
- Subject: [afro-nets] Malaria News (2 items)
- From: Leela McCullough <email@example.com>
- Date: Thu, 28 Oct 2004 11:35:34 -0400
Malaria Treatment: Chloroquine Ruled Out
(Copied as fair use)
Cameroon Tribune (Yaoundé)
October 27, 2004
Posted to the web October 27, 2004
By Martin Nkematabong
Reports show that the poor spend about half of their income on
Statistics from the Africa Malaria Report office show that
chloroquine is among the leading drugs still widely prescribed
for malaria patients by some pharmacists and drug vendors in the
country. The drug, which can no longer destroy the malaria para-
site in some areas of the tropics, was ordered out of the market
in 2002 by the Minister of Public Health, Urbain Olanguena
According the Africa Malaria Report, children under five years
and pregnant women are most exposed to the malaria parasite.
Consequently, malaria morbidity and mortality rates are rela-
tively high within this group. The prevalence rate is said to be
quite high among children from poor families, with chronic
treatment failures. The children are either infected during
pregnancy, or develop acute febrile illness and chronic repeated
infections after birth. Studies rate Fontem Sub Division (in Le-
bialem Division) and Limbe Sub Division (in Fako Division) as
"highly affected areas."
Malaria is said to have imposed a heavy financial burden on many
families in the country. Statistics show that the poor allocate
over 34 per cent of their income on malaria treatment alone,
while the well-to-do spend less than two per cent. Reports also
show that about 44 per cent of low income earners take malaria
treatment at home. Studies carried out by Bosco and Ringwald in
1998 show that chloroquine registered 51 per cent clinical fail-
ures among children of less than five years in Yaounde.
Drug resistance is a persistent problem facing malaria patients.
Drugs are widely hawked on the streets and market places by in-
dividuals who lack any basic medical training. The situation is
worse in the countryside. Vendors who prescribe drugs hardly
take into consideration the gravity of infection or age of the
patient and their past medical records.
That apart, the quality of most drugs sold is appalling. Many
patients complain that pirates now locally fabricate fake drugs
like paracetamol, chloroquine, etc from cassava. This has often
resulted to serious side effects.
Researchers say the prevalence rate of malaria in Africa South
of the Sahara, has increased steadily because of three main rea-
sons: drug resistance, frequent exposure of non-immuned popula-
tion, emergence of HIV/AIDS and dormant malaria control pro-
Copyright © 2004 Cameroon Tribune. All rights reserved. Distrib-
uted by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com).
Danger! Fake Antimalaria Drugs Flood Market
P.M. News (Lagos)
October 19, 2004
Posted to the web October 19, 2004
In spite of the numerous foreign and locally manufactured anti-
malaria drugs in the market, malaria continues to be one of the
most dangerous tropical diseases killing millions of people
Consumer Watch market research revealed that a lot of antima-
laria drugs currently in the market are fake and substandard and
very difficult for consumers to differentiate between them and
These fake antimalaria drugs come in form of injection, tablets,
syrup and caplets.
The prevalence of malaria disease could be attributed to the use
of the fake drugs that usually come cheap, thus resulting in the
resistance of the disease to treatment.
The fake antimalaria drugs are imitations of original brands
like Halfan, Colecxin, Chloroject, Chloroquine, Fansidar,
Metakelfin, Amoxin, Amodiaquine, Maladar amongst others.
The fake brands, when administered, worsen the patient's condi-
tion because of their low potency.
Research also revealed that most of the drugs have no safety
profile, thus causing discomfort in form of side effects.
According to NAFDAC, most of the antimalaria drugs contain far
less than the stated amount of active ingredients on analysis.
They come without a literature leaflet that serves as a guide to
Finding also revealed that most hospital owners purchase these
fake drugs because they are cheap and administer same to pa-
No wonder, many patients are transferred from one hospital to
another because the drugs are not as effective as they are sup-
posed to be.
How can a consumer detect a fake or substandard antimalaria
drug? A pharmacist advised consumers to watch out for the label,
the full address of the manufacturer and the quality of the
Consumers, he counselled, should check the NAFDAC registration
number and the expiry date of the drug.
He warned that patients should visit a physician for proper di-
agnosis, while drugs must be administered with the advice and
direction of a physician.
Leela McCullough, Ed.D.
Director of Information Services
30 California Street, Watertown, MA 02472, USA