UGANDAN HEALTH MINISTRY TOUTS ACT THERAPY FOR MALARIA

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The Ugandan Ministry of Health is promoting artemisinin combination therapy (ACT') with artemether/ lumefantrine as a new first-line medication for malaria, which is an increasing problem in the country, killing up to 23 percent of Ugandan children who contract the disease.

J.B. Rwakimari, a doctor with the ministry's Malaria Control Program, noted that oral quinine was the preferred second-line medicine for uncomplicated malaria. During pregnancy, he added, sulfadoxine/-pyrimethamine should be taken instead of the other treatment varieties.

On the heels of the ministry's announcement, Ugandan drugmaker Kampala Pharmaceutical introduced a new ACT, DUACT -- a combination of artesunate and amodiaquine.