Town Online 2022:06:08.16:34
Pharmacists prepare ingredients for making traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) decoctions at the Yuzhou TCM Hospital in Yuzhou city, central China’s Henan province, 13 January 2022. Yuzhou of the province of Henan has implemented TCM to medically quarantined individuals and frontline medical workers to help control the recent surge in COVID-19 infections. (Xinhua/Li Jianan)
By Zheng Caixiong
The President of the Comoros, Azali Assoumani, stated that in recent years his country has benefited from the use of artemisinin-based treatment programs to combat malaria.
Assoumani thanked the Chinese researchers for their foresight and generous help regarding the treatment. His criteria were issued at the International Forum on the 50th anniversary of the discovery of artemisinin and the construction of a world community of health for all, held at the end of April.
With the help of China, the Comoros have become one of the countries with the lowest incidence of malaria in East Africa. From 2012 to 2020, the rate fell from 9 per 1,000 to less than 5 per 1,000 inhabitants.
“Comoros is also one of the countries that has successfully blocked the chain of local transmission of malaria,” stressed the president.
Since 2003, Guangdong Province has spearheaded six campaigns aimed at the rapid eradication of malaria in Southeast Asia, Africa and the South Pacific region. The results have been remarkable.
“Guangdong, the birthplace of the use of artemisinin to combat malaria, has sent more than 260 technicians abroad and helped train more than 10,000 local medical workers. The province has also established six overseas malaria centers,” said Xu Qingfeng, deputy director of the Guangdong Provincial Health Commission, who also heads the Provincial Office of Traditional Chinese Medicine.
Overseas centers include Sino-Africa Malaria Prevention and Treatment Center, Sino-Comoros Malaria Prevention and Treatment Center, Sino-Papua New Guinea Center for Traditional Chinese Medicine, Center for Traditional Chinese Medicine Sino-Togo, the Sino-Malawi Center for Traditional Chinese Medicine and the Sino-Malawi Artemisinin Research Center.
“These centers have played an important role in fighting malaria around the world,” Xu said at a recent briefing on anti-malaria with artemisinin in Guangzhou, capital of Guangdong.
With the help of Chinese doctors and artemisinin treatment, Cambodia has now been listed as a country in the pre-malaria elimination stage recognized by the World Health Organization, the Chinese official recalled.
The national malaria incidence rate in the Comoros has been reduced by more than 98 percent, and a zero mortality rate from malaria has been achieved.
The first pilot area of São Tomé and Príncipe has reported zero malaria cases for the first time for eight consecutive months, while the rate of malaria infection among the 45,000 people in the Kirivina Islands, the Papua New Guinea pilot area, has decreased by more than 95 percent, and a zero mortality rate from malaria has been achieved.
Xu also recalled that official statistics show that since the implementation of the artemisinin malaria elimination projects, more than 20 million people in malaria-affected nations and regions around the world have directly benefited from the diagnosis. and treatment of doctors and medical experts, and Guangdong artemisinin drug use.
“Artemisinin, a medicine that helped China eliminate malaria, is a gift from traditional Chinese medicine to the world, and Guangdong is not only the birthplace of the use of Artemisia annua, also known as sweet wormwood, the plant used to cure malaria patients, but also the pioneer of making an industry around Artemisia annua go international,” Xu said.
And he reaffirmed that Guangdong has made remarkable achievements in promoting the cultivation of high-quality Artemisia annua varieties.
Due to extensive research and development, the artemisinin content found in artemisia annua from the province has increased from 0.5 percent to 2.97 percent.
Currently, an average of five kilograms of artemisinin can be extracted from a metric ton of Artemisia annua globally, although the figure reaches 12 kilograms from a ton of Artemisia annua planted in Fengshun County of Meizhou, in eastern Guangdong.
“The fourth generation of artemisinin and piperaquine combination tablets (ArtequickO), jointly developed and produced by Guangzhou University of Chinese Medicine and a local company, has obtained international patent protection in 40 countries, completed trademark registration in 36 countries and has been listed and sold in 26 malaria endemic countries.
It is an innovative medicine with completely independent intellectual property rights, and it has many advantages, including high efficiency, quick effect, few side effects, and simple application.
“The tablets have become the main antimalarial drugs on the free market in highly malaria-endemic countries, including Nigeria, Tanzania and Kenya,” he added.
Song Jianping, director of the Artemisinin Research Center at Guangzhou University of Chinese Medicine, said a WHO representative has also legitimized China’s contribution to the fight against malaria.
“The successful implementation of the artemisinin-based malaria elimination demonstration project in the Sao Tome and Principe demonstration area has opened a new path for that country to eliminate malaria,” he said.
Malaria is an infectious disease that threatens the health of all mankind. According to the WHO World Malaria Report 2021, in 2020 more than 140 million cases of malaria were reported worldwide, with 470,000 deaths. These damaging results indicate that malaria has become a major factor hampering the world’s social and economic development, especially in Africa.
(Web editor: 周雨, Zhao Jian)