BANGKOK, 26 April 2012 (IRIN) – Resistance to an anti-malaria drug, artemisinin, is suspected along the Thailand-Myanmar border and in southern Vietnam, but scientists are hoping that it can be contained. Artemisinin resistance emerged on the Thailand-Cambodia border around eight years ago.
Resistance – the ability of the malaria parasite to survive drugs intended to kill it quickly – to chloroquine, an antimalarial previously widely used, forced treatment to change in the early 1970s and also originated in what is known as the Greater Mekong sub-region, which includes Cambodia, the southern provinces of China, Lao, Myanmar, Thailand and Viet Nam.
Chloroquine resistance spread to India and then to sub-Saharan Africa, which has the world’s highest burden of the disease.
Decades later, faced with another bout of resistance, officials are cautiously optimistic about preventing the spread of resistance to artemisinin.
Read more: irinnews.org