It's time for a 'third wave' of malaria activism to tackle drug shortages

Nov 24, 2009

In this week's PLoS Medicine, the journal's editors call for concerted international action to address the crisis of malaria drug shortages across Africa.

They argue that there are now signs of an evolving "malaria activism" (akin to AIDS activism), which has scored two big successes. The first wave of malaria activism highlighted the gap between the huge burden of malaria and the tiny amount of international development assistance dedicated to its control. Such advocacy helped motivate donors to increase their malaria commitments. The second wave focused on making sure that the extra funding was used to purchase highly efficacious artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT) rather than mono-therapies such as , which are largely ineffective in Africa.

"These are big victories," say the editors. "But one benchmark of successful ACT scale-up is whether the drugs are available at the point of care. One of us has just returned from a health reporting fellowship in East Africa, where he found that ACT 'stock-outs' (shortages) were common."

So it's now time, they say, for a "third wave" of activism, to raise awareness of the ACT stock-out crisis, which has deadly consequences.

The editors examine reasons for the crisis—such as inadequate funding to purchase ACT, delays in procuring the drug, and weak health information systems that can't properly track national drug needs and flows—and they lay out some possible solutions.

More information: The Editors (2009) Time for a ''Third Wave'' of Malaria Activism to Tackle the Drug Stock-out Crisis. PLoS Med 6(11): e1000188. doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1000188

Source: Public Library of Science (news : web)

Explore further: US orders farms to report pig virus infections

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

How to treat fevers in African children up for debate

Jan 06, 2009

A new debate in the open access journal PLoS Medicine questions whether all African children with fever should be treated presumptively with antimalarial drugs, or if treatment should wait until laboratory tests confirm malari ...

Half of trials supporting FDA applications go unpublished

Sep 23, 2008

Over half of all supporting trials for FDA-approved drugs remained unpublished 5 years after approval, says new research published in this week's PLoS Medicine. The most important trials determining efficacy, and those with s ...

Recommended for you

US orders farms to report pig virus infections

3 hours ago

The U.S. government is starting a new program to help monitor and possibly control the spread of a virus that has killed millions of pigs since showing up in the country last year.

Foreigner dies of MERS in Saudi

4 hours ago

A foreigner has died after she contracted MERS in the Saudi capital, the health ministry said on announced Friday, bringing the nationwide death toll to 73.

Vietnam battles fatal measles outbreak

7 hours ago

Vietnam is scrambling to contain a deadly outbreak of measles that has killed more than 100 people, mostly young children, and infected thousands more this year, the government said Friday.

User comments : 0

More news stories

Researchers successfully clone adult human stem cells

(Phys.org) —An international team of researchers, led by Robert Lanza, of Advanced Cell Technology, has announced that they have performed the first successful cloning of adult human skin cells into stem ...