This is terrible news. The artemesinin drugs have only been available to the world for about 15 years, and were rushed into development because all of the older anti-malaria drugs have been largely ineffective.
International scientists say they have found the first evidence of resistance to the world’s most effective drug for treating malaria.
They say the trend in western Cambodia has to be urgently contained because full-blown resistance would be a global health catastrophe.
“Twice in the past, South East Asia has made a gift, unwittingly, of drug resistant parasites to the rest of the world, in particular to Africa,” he said.
“That’s the problem. We’ve had chloroquine and SP resistance, both of which have caused major loss of life in Africa,” in said in reference to earlier generation anti-malarial drugs.
“If the same thing happens again, the spread of a resistant parasite from Asia to Africa, that will have devastating consequences for malaria control,” he said.