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Chemoprevention: new method of combating malaria shows promise

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
5/13/2014 (2 years ago)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Over 200,000 kids successfully treated with malaria prevention strategy.

A new tactic for fighting malaria seems to be working and doctors are seeking to expand the practice to prevent the spread of malaria in Africa.  The tactic, called chemoprevention, gives children small doses of malaria medicine to prevent sickness.

Malaria chemoprevention treatments are surprisingly effective and cheap.

Malaria chemoprevention treatments are surprisingly effective and cheap.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
5/13/2014 (2 years ago)

Published in Health

Keywords: chemoprevention, malaria, Africa, Sahel


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - A new method of administering anti-malaria medicines to children appears to be working to reduce malaria infection rates in the Sahel region of Africa. The Sahel, which is the semiarid region south of the Sahara desert, is heavily populated and during the rainy season, which lasts from July to October, malaria cases skyrocket.

Malaria remains one of the world's greatest killers with children the most vulnerable. The disease disrupts lives, worker productivity, and kills millions. Finding more effective ways to combat the disease is critical.

Click here and save a child from malaria!

Mosquito nets, abatement programs and medicine distribution programs have helped to reduce the incidence of malaria overall, however the disease still spreads during the rainy seasons.

Unfortunately, children in the Sahel tend to starve during the start of the rainy season because there is an annual shortfall of food before the harvest season and food prices rise because of limited supply. Children who are malnourished are much more likely to die from malaria because they lack the nutrition to ward off the parasite.

Now, doctors have found that chemoprevention works very well to prevent the disease from appearing in children. The method involves administering regular, but tiny doses of malaria medication to children. The doses themselves are small, too small to cure malaria, but significant enough in repeated doses to reduce the incidence of malaria.

Each dose of the drugs costs just 25 cents and blister packs are distributed to kids once per month.

Children in Niger and Mali are the current beneficiaries of the World Health Organization program that is administered via Doctors Without Borders. Last year 206,000 children were treated.

WHO officials would like to expand the program, but are looking for more funding to accomplish the goal.

Your Catholic Voice Foundation is also collecting donations to fight Malaria through our BUY A DOSE, GIVE A DOSE campaign. For each donation that YCVF receives from readers, they will match the donation dollar for dollar. Please consider contributing to this important cause.

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