U.N. announces new plan to fight malaria

The United Nations has announced the launching of the Global Health Progress program, which will fight resistance to the malaria drug artemisinin using a five step process that will stop resistant parasite's spread and make drug treatments more available.

The program, created by the U.N.'s World Health Organization and the Roll Back Malaria Partnership, seeks to prevent resistance to artemisinin as it is the most important part of the artemisinin-based combination theory - currently the most effective treatment for falciparum malaria.

"(The Global Health Progress) aims to contain and prevent artemisinin resistance by stopping the spread of resistant parasites, increase monitoring and surveillance for artemisinin resistance, improve access to malaria diagnostic testing and rational treatment with ACTs, invest in artemisinin resistance-related research, and motivate action and mobilize resources," an announcement on the new program said.

The WHO believes that this action plan can help to make sure that developing nations continue to have access to effective malaria drugs. Since these countries often do not have the resources to keep an effective healthcare system, effective and stronger health systems must help those countries to get access to these direly important medicines.

The Global Health Progress will work most effectively if other stronger nations invest in local research and development capabilities in these countries and take responsibility to facilitate access to these malaria medicines, according to the WHO.