New malaria drug has 100 % efficacy - So what happened to DDT?
Posted: Oct 19 2005
Three experts who took part in developing the new national policy for the treatment of malaria have insisted that artesunate and Amodiaquine prescription for the treatment of malaria is the best among a number of options considered.
An Accra weekly last Saturday quoted Dr Albert Akpalu a Neurologist at the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital and Komfo Anokye hospitals as well as polyclinics throughout the country were recoding cases of “ worrying side effects” of the new treatment.
Dr Akpalu was reported to have said that every week about five to six cases related to these side effects were reported at Korle Bu.
Some of the side effects he mentioned were weakness and writhing movements of the face, hands and eyelids and involuntary protrusion and spasms of the tongue as well as inability to talk.
The three experts Dr Constance Bart Plange of the National Malaria Control Programme, Dr Irene Agyapong, Greater Regional Director of Ghana Health Service and Peter Segbor, Executive Director of the Pharmaceutical Society of Ghana affirmed that the new drug “ has a hundred per cent efficacy of treatment.”
They said this after the opening of a four-week course in strengthening Social Science Inputs into Malaria Control Programme Development and Implementation in sub Saharan Africa.
They said the side effects were due to misapplication of the drug.
Dr Bart Plange said “ patients go to the pharmacies without knowing their weight whilst others take the drugs on empty stomachs”.
Following the fast developing resistance to Chloroquine by malaria parasite, a new policy was adopted last year based on recommendations by the World Health Organization (WHO).
The artesunate and Amodiaquine combination therefore emerged as the standard prescription for malaria treatment.
Dr Bart Plange explained that the team that finally arrived at the decision was highly participatory, involving universities, the Korle Bu Teaching hospital, manufacturers, importers of drugs and pharmaceutical society of Ghana and other experts in the health delivery sector.
She said the Amodiaquine and artesunate that were currently being sold in the open pharmacies were produced by local manufacturers who took part in the deliberations leading to the adoption of the new policy.
Dr Bart Plange said the National Control Malaria Programme is embarking on a rigorous sensitatisation programme to educate dispensers and consumers before it releases the drug to the regional health centres.
Source: Ghanaian Times.