|3DF funded drug resistant malaria programme commences in 4 high-risk areas of Myanmar|
31 October 2011 - Download the factsheet that accompanies the start of a malaria drug resistance containment programme supported by Three Diseases Fund.
A programme to contain the geographical spread of drug resistant malaria has begun in four priority states/divisions of Myanmar/Burma. The programme, supported by the Three Diseases Fund, started in July and is being run by eight of its partners (five international and three community organisations). Planned with the National Malaria Control Programme, the Myanmar artemisinin resistance containment (MARC) programme, aims to prevent and delay the spread of malaria which is resistant to the artemisinin drug and contain the most deadly form of malaria, Plasmodium falciparum (Pf), within Myanmar. Without this, the threat of drug resistance could quickly spread beyond its border throughout the tropical region and into Africa. With USD10.8 million being contributed from Australia and the United Kingdom through the Three Diseases Fund (3DF), around 30 priority townships will be targeted in the states of Kayin and Mon, with the regions of Bago (East) and Tanintharyi.
Ulrich Sørensen, Chairman of 3DF’s fund board, said: ‘In supporting MARC, 3DF hopes to prevent the emergence and spread of drug resistant malaria parasites in the areas where artemisinin resistance is a growing concern. To help protect the continued and vital use of artemisinin, artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT) has been introduced in the fight against malaria around the world’.
Mr Sørensen continued: ‘This is a great opportunity to broaden 3DF’s reach in line with MARC and WHO’s global plan for artemisinin resistance containment (GPARC). We hope that setting this Programme’s first year in motion will encourage other donors to provide funds for further widening MARC’s response.’
The GPARC strategy defines the global objectives to protect artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT), which is currently the most potent weapon used globally in treating Pf malaria. According to the MARC framework (2011-2015), cases of artemisinin resistance first were detected in Cambodia in 2002. In some parts of Myanmar artemisinin has shown to take longer to take effect, an early signal of drug resistance. It is therefore critical that the spread of the drug resistant parasite in this part of the world is contained.
3DF’s funding will allow partners to start a number of MARC activities. This includes finding and treating cases of malaria effectively; the distributing of long-lasting insecticidal nets (LLINs), treating and retreating bed nets with insecticide and screening suspected malaria cases.
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