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30.03.2006 Health

WHO recommends Atesunate Armodiaquine

By Eric Mensah of fox fm. kumasi.

The World Health Organisation currently recommends the use of combination therapies containing Artemisinin derivatives for all African Countries experiencing resistance to monotherapies in the treatment of malaria.

This disclosure was made by the WHO country programmes officer on malaria, Dr. Mrs. Felicia Owusu Antwi to the press on the update of malaria in the country.

Dr. Felicia Owusu Antwi continued that, considering the response of plasmodium falciparum to chloroquin in the treatment of malaria in Africa, the WHO recommends the use of Artesunate Armodiaquine which has a high clearance and cure rate with adequate duration as the possible replacement of chloroquine.

The WHO malaria officer in Ghana said Armodiaquine is an efficacious combination drug with low side effect and is safe for pregnant women and children.

Dr. Antwi disclosed that, malaria is endemic throughout the country and is recognised as the leading public health problem with 44% of all patient cases and about 25% of deaths in children under five.

She continued that, Ghana is in the Alert period in Africa, which is dangerous and therefore calls for a review of the current policy to replace chloroquine as the first line drug for malaria treatment.

Dr. Antwi intimated that, with the implementation of this policy, the strength of Amodiaquine tablets in Ghana should be 75mg and 150mg of the base, while that of Artesunate should also be 25mg and 50mg base.

The WHO country officer on malaria advocated for a much stronger education campaign which should be backed by the Government of Ghana and urged all to instill the culture of visiting the hospital frequently.