Stopping Resistance at the Source

The race is on to stop a drug-resistant malaria strain in Southeast Asia—where malaria deaths are rare—from reaching sub-Saharan Africa, where malaria kills 3,000 children daily.

Falciparum malaria, resistant to mainstay drugs artemisinin and piperaquine, has cropped up in Cambodia, Thailand, Laos, and now Vietnam. Considered on track to meet the WHO goal of eliminating falciparum malaria in Southeast Asia by 2030, Vietnam's success is not a givenand Kidong Park, the WHO’s representative in Vietnam, said “If we fail here, it will spread to other parts of the world.”

Some researchers want the WHO to declare a global emergency. “Why are people so reluctant to call it that?” asks Lorenz von Seidlein, a researcher in Thailand, warning against “false confidence” that the right drugs will appear before catastrophe unfolds.

The New York Times

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