Artemisia annua, Artemisinin, ACTs & Malaria Control in Africa

Malaria is thought to be among the oldest of human diseases (Russell, 1955; Bray, 1996; Carter, 2002; Sallares, 2002; Nerlich et al., 2008; Cunha, 2008). It has long had serious effects on morbidity and mortality, and in turn on the economic and social fabric of nations and society.

Various methods have long been utilized to mitigate its frequency and effects in both temperate and tropical climates. This has proven to be a never-ending battle requiring constant attention. As stated by Hackett in 1937: “Everything about malaria is so molded by local conditions that it becomes a thousand different diseases and epidemiological puzzles.”

This paper recounts the events relating to the most important chemotherapy (drug) approach to the control of its most severe form, P. falciparum, which predominates in Sub-Saharan Africa (Guerra, et al., 2008). In the process it provides an introduction to to the vast array of literature available, much of it now on line.