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New Two-Drug Regime To Tackle Malaria

Malaria kills nearly one million people around the world every year, and chlororquine, the cheapest drug available for fighting malaria is fast becoming ineffective, reports NDTV.

A national survey indicates that the treatment in 90 per // cent cases of plasmodium falsiparum, which causes a severe form of malaria, fails because patients are resistant to chloroquine.

Thus, the government has decided to replace the drug by a two-drug regime including artemisinin and sulphadoxine to prevent deaths and transmission.

New challenges:

It will be another 2-3 months before the drugs are available in the public health network.

Experts also believe the real challenge will lie in retraining the doctors, nurses and paramedic staff like Anganwadi workers.

"It all looks very easy on the paper, but what about the implantation? There has to be a change in attitude towards malaria treatment," said Dr Unni, Expert, Medicine Sans Frontiere.

While malaria had been eradicated in many states, there has been a resurgence since the 1960s because of a breakdown in civic infrastructure.

The introduction of more effective drugs will clearly help in the treatment of malaria, but the government will also need to focus on preventive steps like the distribution of treated bednets and destruction of mosquito breeding grounds.

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