UGANDA’S MINISTRY of Health has approved the use ofÂ Artesunate, a Chinese anti-malarial drug to help treat severe cases of malaria, a disease that kills over 320 people per day, mostly children and pregnant mothers.
Peter Okui, the Malaria Control Program Manager told a scientific symposium held recently that Artesunate which is used to treat severe malaria in both adults and children should be used in preference to quinine.
Artesunate was recommended by the World Health Organization after studies conducted in Asia andÂ AfricaÂ showed a reduction in morbidity and mortality.
The injectable medicine is said to be rapidly absorbed into the body within five minutes compared to quinine which takes over 30 minutes.
In Southeast Asia, a 2005 study showed the use of Artesunate resulted in 35 percent fewer deaths in adults while a similar study in nine African countries showed 23 percent reduction in child deaths. Xinhua