The threat of a drug-resistant malaria pandemic in Myanmar has been contained for now, thanks to joint efforts of malaria research organisations and Myanmar’s health ministry according to an article published by the SciDev.Net website on 31 August.
Mass anti-malarial drug administration provided an effective strategy, according to a study recently published in Malaria Journal on 16 August the article said
Malaria is an endemic disease and subject to seasonal changes. But the combined factors of political instability and internal displacement of Myanmar’s diverse ethnic minorities intensify the challenge of providing treatment to remote communities, many of which reside in mountainous areas.
Malaria intervention programmes in Myanmar have been implemented for decades with artemisinin as the most effective form of treatment. But the emergence of a drug-resistant strain of the Plasmodium falciparum parasite in Cambodia prompted immediate and more aggressive methods to halt the spread of the disease.
The intervention is part of the Myanmar government’s efforts to eliminate malaria from the country by 2030. According to Thein Thein Htay, deputy health minister, the next step would be the pre-elimination phase that will cover all regions by 2025.