By Victoria Ojeme
The World Health Organisation, WHO, has called on governments and stakeholders to implement policies and practices needed to safeguard medicines for future generation.
It has also launched a public awareness campaign on anti-microbial resistance and its global spread,
Dr Pascal Ringwald, of the Drug Resistance and Containment Unit, WHO’s Global Malaria Programme made this known at the declaration of 2010 world Health Day Sunday in Abuja.
According to Dr Ringwald, national monitoring is an essential step in preventing the emergence of malaria drug resistance.
He said countries should be increasingly vigilant in monitoring anti-malarial drug efficacy in order to allow for early detection of artemisinin resistance.
This was among several conclusions of the “Global report on anti-malarial drug efficacy and drug resistance, 2000–2010, by the WHO.
The report is based on 1100 studies conducted by national malaria control programme and research institutes over the ten-year period.
The report estimates that only 34% of malaria-endemic countries were complying with WHO recommendations to routinely monitor the efficacy of first- and second-line anti-malarial medicines.
“A greater political commitment to support and sustain national monitoring of the efficacy of anti-malarial medicines is critical to prevent a wider emergence of artemisinin resistance.
“The emergence of artemisinin resistance on the Cambodia-Thailand border has been a wake-up call to the world to prevent its spread, increase monitoring, and preserve ACTs as the only effective treatment we have for falciparum malaria,” said Dr Robert Newman, Director of WHO’s Global Malaria Programme.