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Treating severe malaria

BMJ 2005; 330 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.330.7487.317 (Published 10 February 2005) Cite this as: BMJ 2005;330:317

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A very interesting and timely article.

Sir,

Kudos to authors of this article. It is a very timely article epecially when the malaria is staging a come back in Sub-Saharan Africa.

On Copperbelt in Zambia, Konkola Copper Mines Plc. started Roll Back Malaria programme 3 years ago by spraying all household in the mining towns of Chingola and Chililabombwe. The programme had excellent results in first two years with the malaria incidence rates dropping dramatically. This year we are witnessing increasing number of patients admitted with malaria in our hospital. What is intersting as well as troubling is the fact that almost 70% of these patients have hyperparasitaemia (Blood slde 3+ or above). We suspect that two years of relative freedom from malaria has lowered the immunity in the population of these towns. As a result when they travel out side the mining towns to the areas of high incidence and are affected with malaria, they are not able to fight the infection with the same efficiency as they used to before Roll-Back era. As such we have a large number of severe malaria patients to treat.

This article gives us alternative modality, which is easier and cheaper, for treatment which is welcome.

Competing interests: None declared

Competing interests: No competing interests

11 February 2005
Dr. V K Pandey
Consultant Paediatrician
Konkola Copper mines Plc., Chingola, Zambia