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Major clinical trial prompts call for change to treatment guidelines for severe malaria worldwide
Date:11/6/2010

in Asia, also led the AQUAMAT study. AQUAMAT was carried out in eleven hospitals across Mozambique, Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Nigeria, Ghana, and The Gambia and involved over 200 collaborators. The trial was funded entirely by the Wellcome Trust, a global charitable foundation, and received no funding from the pharmaceutical industry.

Dr Olugbenga Mokuolu from the University of Ilorin in Nigeria, one of the trial collaborating centres, adds: "Severe malaria is a terrible burden on the African continent and across the developing world and we need the best treatments available to combat it. If half of the estimated eight million children annually who suffer from the disease could be treated with injectable artesunate, we could potentially save 100,000 young lives each year. For those of us who treat malaria in Africa, this trial is a turning point. Finally we have a better treatment to offer to our malaria patients."

The trial has been welcomed by Sir Mark Walport, Director of the Wellcome Trust, which supported both the original trial in Asia and the subsequent AQUAMAT study.

"This is an extremely important clinical trial of the treatment of malaria, showing improved survival of patients with severe malaria in Africa," says Sir Mark. "There are still many hurdles to overcome and we must be vigilant to protect against resistance to these new drugs and against a market in counterfeit drugs. But Professor White and colleagues have shown that we have the potential to save the lives of hundreds of thousands of children."


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Contact: Craig Brierley
c.brierley@wellcome.ac.uk
44-207-611-7329
Wellcome Trust
Source:Eurekalert

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