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[e-drug] Malaria News: resistance, counterfeits

E-DRUG: Malaria News: resistance, counterfeits
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Malaria Treatment : Chloroquine Ruled Out 

Cameroon Tribune (Yaoundi) 
October 27, 2004 
Posted to the web October 27, 2004 

By Martin Nkematabong

Reports show that the poor spend about half of their income on malaria 

Statistics from the Africa Malaria Report office show that chloroquine is among 
the leading drugs still widely prescribed for malaria patients by some 
pharmacists and drug vendors in the country. The drug, which can no longer 
destroy the malaria parasite in some areas of the tropics, was ordered out of 
the market in 2002 by the Minister of Public Health, Urbain Olanguena Awono. 

According the Africa Malaria Report, children under five years and pregnant 
women are most exposed to the malaria parasite. Consequently, malaria morbidity 
and mortality rates are relatively high within this group. The prevalence rate 
is said to be quite high among children from poor families, with chronic 
treatment failures. The children are either infected during pregnancy, or 
develop acute febrile illness and chronic repeated infections after birth. 
Studies rate Fontem Sub Division (in Lebialem Division) and Limbe Sub Division 
(in Fako Division) as "highly affected areas." 

Malaria is said to have imposed a heavy financial burden on many families in 
the country. Statistics show that the poor allocate over 34 per cent of their 
income on malaria treatment alone, while the well-to-do spend less than two per 
cent. Reports also show that about 44 per cent of low income earners take 
malaria treatment at home. Studies carried out by Bosco and Ringwald in 1998 
show that chloroquine registered 51 per cent clinical failures among children 
of less than five years inYaounde. 

Drug resistance is a persistent problem facing malaria patients. Drugs are 
widely hawked on the streets and market places by individuals who lack any 
basic medical training. The situation is worse in the countryside. Vendors who 
prescribe drugs hardly take into consideration the gravity of infection or age 
of the patient and their past medical records. 

That apart, the quality of most drugs sold is appalling. Many patients complain 
that pirates now locally fabricate fake drugs like paracetamol, chloroquine, 
etc from cassava. This has often resulted to serious side effects. 

Researchers say the prevalence rate of malaria in Africa South of the Sahara, 
has increased steadily because of three main reasons: drug resistance, frequent 
exposure of non-immuned population, emergence of HIV/AIDS and dormant malaria 
control programmes. 
Copyright ) 2004 Cameroon Tribune. All rights reserved. Distributed by 
AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com).


Danger! Fake Antimalaria Drugs Flood Market 

P.M. News (Lagos) 
October 19, 2004 
Posted to the web October 19, 2004 

In spite of the numerous foreign and locally manufactured antimalaria drugs in 
the market, malaria continues to be one of the most dangerous tropical diseases 
killing millions of people every year. 

Consumer Watch market research revealed that a lot of antimalaria drugs 
currently in the market are fake and substandard and very difficult for 
consumers to differentiate between them and genuine ones. 

These fake antimalaria drugs come in form of injection, tablets, syrup and 

The prevalence of malaria disease could be attributed to the use of the fake 
drugs that usually come cheap, thus resulting in the resistance of the disease 
to treatment. 

The fake antimalaria drugs are imitations of original brands like Halfan, 
Colecxin, Chloroject, Chloroquine, Fansidar, Metakelfin, Amoxin, Amodiaquine, 
Maladar amongst others. 

The fake brands, when administered, worsen the patient's condition because of 
their low potency. 

Research also revealed that most of the drugs have no safety profile, thus 
causing discomfort in form of side effects. 

According to NAFDAC, most of the antimalaria drugs contain far less than the 
stated amount of active ingredients on analysis. They come without a literature 
leaflet that serves as a guide to a patient. 

Finding also revealed that most hospital owners purchase these fake drugs 
because they are cheap and administer same to patients. 

No wonder, many patients are transferred from one hospital to another because 
the drugs are not as effective as they are supposed to be. 

How can a consumer detect a fake or substandard antimalaria drug? A pharmacist 
advised consumers to watch out for the label, the full address of the 
manufacturer and the quality of the printing. 

Consumers, he counselled, should check the NAFDAC registration number and the 
expiry date of the drug. 

He warned that patients should visit a physician for proper diagnosis, while 
drugs must be administered with the advice and direction of a physician. 


Leela McCullough, Ed.D.
Director of Information Services

30 California Street, Watertown, MA 02472, USA
Tel: +617-926-9400    Fax: +617-926-1212
Email: leela@healthnet.org
Web: http://www.healthnet.org

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