Resistance to classical malaria treatment in Uganda
13 February 2002
Malaria : facts and figures
Uganda has an estimated 5.3 million cases of malaria for a population of 21.1. million. (source: MOH Uganda)
In the Bundi Bugyo hospital in the East of the country next to the border with the Democratic Republic of Congo, 60% of hospital stays in the paediatric department are linked to malaria. Malaria is the first cause of hospital stays for children, and the first cause of death in hospital.
National treatment protocol
In Uganda, the national treatment protocol mandates a combination of chloroquine and Fansidar for uncomplicated malaria cases and quinine for severe cases.
The results of resistance studies carried out by MSF-Epicentre in Mbarara in 1998 and 2000 showed high levels of resistance to classical antimalarial drugs in this region:
- 1998: 81.1% resistance to chloroquine and 25% resistance to Fansidar.
- 2000: resistance levels to Fansidar up to 60%.
In the Bundi Bugyo region, MSF offers support to refugees in the Nyahuka health centre and the paediatric department of the district hospital.
In the paediatric department of Bundi Bugyo hospital, the use of artemisinin derivatives (artemether) for severe malaria cases have reduced child mortality by around 70% since September 2000.
Reducing malaria morbidity and mortality is one of MSF's priority objectives. In addition to offering medical care in Nyahuka and Bundi Bugyo health centres and introducing treatment with artemisinin derivatives, MSF distributed 55,000 free impregnated bednets to most refugee camps in the Bundi Bugyo region and took part in cleaning up and sanitary programmes.