Over 200 million cases of malaria were recorded in Africa in 2017 the World Health Organisation (WHO) which has set a target to reduce malaria incidence and mortality rates globally by at least 90% by 2030 has said.
In order to achieve this goal scientist from seven institutions across Sub-Saharan coordinated by the Kumasi Center for Collaborative Research in Tropical Medicine have launched a 48 months long clinical research into a tri-therapy for malaria treatment in African children.
ArteSunate+Amodiaquine+Atovaquone-Proguanil (ASAAP) tri-therapy for malaria treatment in African children.
It is hoped that ASAAP will lead to the development of one of the first fixed-dose antimalarial tri-therapies aimed at slowing down resistance to malaria medicines, as well as the risk of mosquitoes passing malaria from one person to another.
Over the next four years, ASAAP, will use its network to develop a platform for clinical trials, entomology and molecular biology in Benin, Ghana, Mali, Gabon and Burkina Faso.
Malaria is preventable and curable. Its control currently relies on three major tools: long lasting insecticide treated nets to prevent mosquito bites, rapid and accurate diagnostic tests to identify parasite carriers, and efficacious, safe and well-tolerated antimalarial drugs to prevent the infection and cure the disease.
Thanks to these tools and increased international funding over the past almost two decades, it is estimated that the prevalence of malaria parasite infection and the incidence of clinical disease fell by 50% and 40% respectively in Sub-Saharan Africa between 2000 and 2015.
However, the malaria burden has remained stable since 2016. Most malaria cases in 2017 were in the WHO African Region (200 million or 92%).
Ten countries in sub- Saharan Africa -- including Burkina Faso, Ghana, and Mali-- and India carried almost 80% of the global malaria burden.
The WHO Global Technical Strategy for Malaria
From 2016–2030 WHO has set ambitious goals, including the reduction of malaria incidence and mortality rates globally by at least 90% by 2030.
The Strategy calls for continued research and development into new malaria control tools toward its elimination.
Currently, the available tools to control malaria are under enormous pressure, due to the resistance of the malaria parasite to medication.
The ASAAP project is part of the 2/3 EDCTP2 programme supported by the European Union Director of research and development for the Ghana health service Dr Abraham Hodgson said finding multiple ways of dealing with the disease is the best approach.
According to him, despite the ongoing malaria vaccination, finding alternative medicines for treatment, will accelerate efforts at achieving the WHO target.