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Chloroquine Ineffectiveness Worries Health Minister

Original Article

MALARIA, CHLOROQUINE RESISTANT - TANZANIA ***************************************** A ProMED-mail post

[see also:
Malaria, chloroquine resistant - Kenya 19990719144906
Malaria, chloroquine resistant - Kenya (04) 19990726222547
Malaria, drug resistant - Africa: overview 19990320213735]

Date: Mon, 24 Apr 2000 13:03:43 -0400
From: Marjorie P. Pollack
Source: Africa News Online, 17 Apr 2000 [edited]

Chloroquine Ineffectiveness Worries Health Minister

Dar Es Salaam - Malaria is likely to continue killing millions of Tanzanians after its parasites, plasmodium has now developed a strong resistance against chloroquine which is a widely used drug in Tanzania.

A research by the Ministry of Health done between 1997 and 1999 has established that chloroquine has lost ability to cure malaria by almost 52 percent in various areas in Tanzania also referred as malaria prone regions.

Explaining on the situation of the disease recently, the Deputy Minister for health, Ms Tatu Ntimizi affirmed that the drug has lost its ability and millions of Tanzanians were in danger of dying of malaria.

Without disclosing the figure, Ms. Ntimizi said that more patients die of malaria in the country, noting that children and infants were more vulnerable to the disease. "Millions of Tanzanians are now in grave danger of dying of malaria more than ever. The treatment is becoming complicated day after day," she said urging the people to adopt preventive measures.The ministry has recommended the use of other drugs like fansidar, amodiaquine and comaquine. She said quinine should be used as a last resort.

In few months ago the ministry of health started working on a report by the World Health Organization (WHO) which had indicated that chloroquine, is no longer effective.

The report had urged Tanzanians to abandon the drug and instead, seek alternative drugs after finding that chloroquine was no longer effective, especially in treating children.

The report also based on research carried out in Dar Es Salaam had revealed that 43 percent of children who were being treated failed to respond to chloroquine.

Reports from other places in the country where the study was also carried out indicated a failure rate of between 40 to 50 percent. In addition, 12.5 percent of the children failed to respond to early treatment. A drug failure rate of more than 25 percent is considered unacceptable internationally.

In its report, WHO has recommended sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine as an alternative drug for treatment of malaria in Tanzania. Kenya is one of the countries which have already replaced chloroquine for the treatment of falciparum malaria.

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