Saved by injectable artesunate

Saved by injectable artesunate

Two-year-old Kamaragi at the Luweero Hospital in Uganda

Photo: Pierre Hugo/MMV


Two-year-old Kamaragi was suffering from high fever when his mother brought him to Luweero Hospital in Uganda. He was diagnosed with severe malaria.

Fortunately, Kamaragi was given injectable artesunate (Inj AS) and the next day he was able to sit upright in bed and his fever had gone. The worry and panic on his mother’s face changed to relief as she realized her son would survive.

Uganda has one of the highest burdens of severe malaria in the world. Over 666,000 in-patient malaria cases were registered in 2015 alone. On the same day that Kamaragi was admitted, three other children were also suffering from severe malaria at Luweero Hospital; fortunately, all of them received Inj AS and recovered.

Thanks to the ISMO project, 1.5 million vials of Inj AS were distributed throughout Uganda, with the potential to treat up to 250,000 children like Kamaragi and to save an additional 10,000 lives compared to treatment with quinine.

“The roll-out of injectable artesunate has helped Uganda to deal with the recent malaria epidemic,” explained Kamaragi’s physician Dr Byamukama. “Within the public sector, the efforts have resulted in a complete switch from quinine to Inj AS to treat severe malaria.”