New development in fight against malaria

Lae News, Normal

The National – Friday, December 24, 2010

HEALTH workers in the Bulolo district last month completed malaria diagnosis workshop to implement the new protocols of treatment.
The workshop, introduced throughout the country under the auspicious of Global Fund, focuses on eradication of malaria in PNG.
Malaria continues to be a major killer, with a growing resistance to existing treatment regimes being observed, course facilitators said.
However, with the introduction by the Department of Health of a revised malaria treatment protocol in late 2009, the key issues of drug resistance and the need for prompt, effective diagnosis of malaria were being addressed.
The workers learnt the new anti-malaria drug regimen employing a methodology known as, “artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT)”.
It would be the first line treatment for people who contract malaria.
Facilitators Kelly Misere from Morobe division of health and Kusunan Posunau, health manager for Bulolo district, said there will be a greater use of rapid diagnostic tests to detect malaria parasites in the blood.
Both highlighted that to be effective, these protocols of changes require training, “more so, with more than 6,000 other health workers scattered throughout the country, a task that is daunting and expensive”.
They said it was fortunate that round eight grant component from Global Fund to fight HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria now supports the control programme in PNG.”