27 April, 2009

A Malaria Free Island

On the idyllic island of Moheli, the Comoro Islands, a Chinese medical team from Guangzhou University has got involved in a project - to eradicate malaria. Malaria, which, each year, infects hundreds of millions of people around the world, especially in Africa, causes an estimated a million deaths every year; mostly in tropical Africa. The project hasn't received much support from WHO, and and many in the public health community still believe malaria can not be wiped out. But the Chinese medical team believes Malaria can be eradicated; if it can be eradicated on the island of Moheli, then, indeed it can be eradicated in other parts of the world.

At the same time, the WHO admits that: the world's best hope for a cure to malaria is emerging from China, which is developing a range of highly effective medicines that include a derivative of a traditional herb, qing hao-su or artemisinin.

The new treatments combine artemisinin, an extremely powerful anti-malarial agent, with modern synthetic drugs. At least four treatments are being developed; one is already available, while another therapy, which is likely to be less costly, may be on the market within two years.

These combinations have a cure rate of more than 95% against malaria, which kills about one million people annually...................

Video from Al Jazeera. Watch more videos on the subject here.

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