The Asia Pacific Leaders Malaria Alliance and Asia Pacific Malaria Elimination Network Welcome Single-dose Treatment for P. vivax Malaria

Press Release

by APLMA

Global Fund_Ryan Quinn Mattingly

Global Fund_Ryan Quinn Mattingly

The Asia Pacific Leaders Malaria Alliance and Asia Pacific Malaria Elimination Network Welcome Single-dose Treatment for P. vivax Malaria

Singapore, 17 March 2022 – The Asia Pacific Leaders Malaria Alliance (APLMA) and Asia Pacific Malaria Elimination Network (APMEN) welcomes recently approved (14 March 2022) use of single-dose tafenoquine by the Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) for the prevention of relapsing Plasmodium vivax (P. vivax) malaria in children aged 2 years and above. Tafenoquine as a complementary paediatric malaria prevention tool, used in combination with other proven tools, is an important addition to the fight against malaria in Asia Pacific.

Dr Sarthak Das, CEO of APLMA, said: “Malaria caused by P. vivax is a very serious problem in Asia Pacific. The region accounts for over half of the global P. vivax burden. While we have made tremendous strides towards eliminating malaria in the region, this treatment provides crucial protection against malaria for our most vulnerable populations and is a welcome contribution to our existing armoury of tools.

We now call on leaders to step up investment to accelerate the delivery of new and existing tools, and strengthen healthcare infrastructure to combat this devastating disease, particularly in the most remote parts of the region.”

Amita Chebbi, Senior Director of APLMA & APMEN said: P. vivax malaria is incredibly dangerous for children. An easy to use, dispersible treatment will be valuable and potentially lifesaving in pockets of the region where the only means of access to healthcare is through a network of extraordinary community health workers. Although we are far off from a silver bullet to end malaria for good, this development is a positive step in the right direction.

There are more than 800,000 reported cases of P. vivax malaria in Asia Pacific, with 86% of the burden in the regions 5 high burden countries alone: Pakistan, PNG, Afghanistan, Indonesia and India[1].

The current standard of care for the prevention of P. vivax relapse is by treatment with a drug called primaquine which requires a 7- or 14-day course. A shorter treatment (single dose) regime with tafenoquine could support some countries towards the region’s 2030 malaria elimination goal.

[1] World Health Organization. World Malaria Report 2021 – Annex 51 (2021)


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