Treatment changed after drug-resistant malaria found in Isan

Treatment changed after drug-resistant malaria found in Isan

The Disease Control Department has changed the combination of medicines used to treat malaria in Si Sa Ket and Ubon Ratchathani, where resistance to the usual combination has been reported.
The Disease Control Department has changed the combination of medicines used to treat malaria in Si Sa Ket and Ubon Ratchathani, where resistance to the usual combination has been reported.

The Public Health Ministry has changed the medications used to treat malaria in two northeastern border provinces where cases of drug-resistance have been reported.

Assadang Ruay-achin, spokesman for the disease control department, said on Wednesday that infection with the mosquito-born malaria parasite was normally treated with dihydroartemisinin-piperaquine and primaquine.

However, this had been changed to artesunate-pyronaridine and pyronaridine for patients in Si Sa Ket and Ubon Ratchathani since February this year.

The change followed the monitoring of the situation in the two provinces, where the success rate in treating the disease was found to be below the national benchmark and the standard set by the World  Health Organization.

Nationally, there was a 94.7% recovery rate for people infected with malaria, but it had fallen to only 81.8% in Si Sa Ket and 90% in Ubon Ratchathani.

Dr Assadang, who is the department deputy director-general, said monitoring was continuing and showed the situation was improving.

There were 3,279 patients treated for malaria from Jan 1 through to Monday this week, a drop of 23% on the same period last year. Tak, Yala and Kanchanaburi were the main provinces for malaria infection.

Scientists have warned that strains of malaria resistant to medicines are spreading from Cambodia into northeastern Thailand, Vietnam and Laos.



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