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WHO urges artemisinin resistance testing
January / February 2014 | Volume 13, Issue 1
The WHO recently released its 2013 world report on malaria that urges countries to follow standard procedures in routinely testing how well malaria treatments are working, to enhance comparison of national data and allow quicker reaction to the buildup of drug resistance in malaria-causing parasites.
"Continuous monitoring of the efficacy of and resistance to antimalarial drugs is critical, in order to inform treatment policy and ensure early detection of changing patterns of resistance," the WHO report notes. This practice "can help to detect early changes in Plasmodium falciparum sensitivity to artemisinin."
The study reiterates that to contain the risk of artemisinin resistance, health authorities in nine countries permitting artemisinin-based monotherapies should ban the practice and ensure the drug is given only in combination with other malaria treatments to preserve its effectiveness over time.
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