Beating Malaria

Beating Malaria   Mang We Tin with her feverish five-year-old son Hla Win Tun awaiting treatment at a clinic in Mawker Tie. Nicholas White and François Nosten have shown that artemisinin in combination with other drugs are 90% effective at fighting the scourge of the world. So why isn't everyone using it? By Merrill Goozner ARTICLE EXTRAS 1 Yet there is still little understanding of how artemisinin-based derivatives and the other drugs used i

By | December 1, 2006

Beating Malaria

 

Mang We Tin with her feverish five-year-old son Hla Win Tun awaiting treatment at a clinic in Mawker Tie.

Nicholas White and François Nosten have shown that artemisinin in combination with other drugs are 90% effective at fighting the scourge of the world. So why isn't everyone using it?
By Merrill Goozner

Comments

December 11, 2006

Dear Editor,\nThe article by Merril Goozner on Beating Malaria in The Scientist, 20(12) page 26 clearly suggests the price of the treatment that rural people can afford to pay. It is the cost of the chloroquine at about 10 US cents per dose. Since the artemisinin can not be synthesized chemically, we should seriously consider Artemisia annua tea bags. Normal black and green (Camellia sinensis) tea bags cost about 1 US cent each. A annua tea bags would cost the same. Ten A annua tea bags would be enough to treat a patient with three cups of A annua tea per day for three days. The Chinese have been using A annua as a tea for 500 years to treat malaria with no evidence of resistance. Although the case for possible resistance to artemisinin monotherapy has been made very well and is probably a safe extrapolation from other monotherapies, there is no scientific data for resistance to A annua tea as a therapy. A well designed in vitro resistance study of A annua tea is urgently needed. \n

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