Asia has fought resistance to one drug after another from the 1970s. Research in recent years has confirmed an increased parasite clearance time on the Thai-Cambodian border. The biggest problem is knowing how far it has spread, but we cannot wait for more information without response, so a special containment programme is underway in the areas where there is evidence.
The goal is to contain artemisinin-resistant Pf parasites by removing selection pressure and reducing and ultimately eliminating falciparum malaria.
Key areas of focus:
-Mobile and migrant populations, who have limited access to control services but potential to spread resistant parasites to new areas. The programme explores how to reach these people, including new economic migrants;
-Surveillance and information systems, which need to be rapidly upgraded to detect hotspots in transmission, to capture areas with higher frequency of slow parasite clearance and to be complete and timely for rapid response;
-Suppression of monotherapies
-Private sector strategies to ensure more rational drug use;
-Understanding patient behaviour to support changes which will limit risk of spread;
-Joint action by Thailand and Cambodia
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