Containment Project

The battle has begun and there will be no let-up until the enemy retreats and is eventually defeated

Artemisinin-Resistance Containment Project

The World Health Organisation leads the battle being waged along the Thai-Cambodian border against tolerance to artemisinin, the best available drug to treat malaria. Committed experts, partners and the Thai and Cambodian governments are engaged.

They persist in the fight because spread of the danger would knock back years of global efforts and imperil the world's poorest in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa where incidence and deaths are highest, especially among children.

Due to increasing free access to still performing ACT and LLINs, especially in Africa, global malaria mortality is decreasing but half the world population is still at risk. China struggled with several pockets of malaria on the mainland until its own scientists extracted as an anti-malarial artemisinin, the shrub that is indigenous to the country. Hainan Island and Yunnan now remain problem areas.

Alarm bells rang recently when signs of tolerance appeared on the Thai-Cambodian border, with the lengthening of the clearance period of parasites, from the initial 48 hours to a few days. This sparked the Containment Project in seven provinces in eastern Thailand and 10 in western Cambodia.

The project aims to reduce and eventually eliminate deadly falciparum malaria with a strategy that calls for better prevention, more research, less use of artemisinin monotherapies, and increasing engagement of private providers to provide quality diagnosis and medicines, among others.

Dr Maria Dorina Bustos
Technical Officer, Mekong Malaria Programme
World Health Organization
Country Office for Thailand
4th Fl.,Permanent Secretary Bld 3
Ministry of Public Health, Nonthaburi
Tel: +6625918198, Fax: +6625918199
Email: bustosm@searo.who.int

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