Malaria: Restocking the shelf

People keep bringing up the fact that ACTs are expensive, as if it were a reason not to start using them. But what would you rather do - waste money on old cheap drugs that you know don't work or fund a more expensive treatment that will save lives?" Nick White Chairman, Wellcome Trust Southeast Asian Tropical Medicine Research Units and Professor of Tropical Medicine, Mahidol and Oxford Universities
The idea is a simple one: restock Africa with a malaria medicine that works.
  • The World Health Organization must push for implementation of its own recommendation to switch to ACT
  • Donors must stop wasting their money funding drugs that don't work and help fund efforts of endemic countries to make the switch to ACT
  • Endemic countries need to back up their will to improve malaria control with increased budget allocations
  • ACT must be provided to individuals free of charge, or at an affordable price
  • International agencies and donors must provide technical support to facilitate both treatment implementation and upgrading international and domestic drug suppliers willing to produce ACT (with technology transfer and technical assistance to enhance production standards)
  • UNICEF, WHO procurement and the Global Fund for AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria must pool needs and make large orders to prime the drug production pump and bring down prices
  • International and/or regional pre-qualification needs to be augmented to assist countries in identifying quality drug sources
  • Concerned parties must undertake operational research to improve use of current tools
  • Research & development for new drugs, new formulations of existing drugs and improved diagnostic tools must be placed high on the agenda and implemented through government-supported research or non-profit initiatives such as the Medicines for Malaria Venture We need to implement ACT today. We need to act now.