First delivery of this life-saving drug made through MMV-led UNITAID-funded "Improving Severe Malaria Outcomes" project
An order of 300,000 vials of injectable artesunate for the treatment of severe malaria has been airfreighted to Kenya and Nigeria. These are the first vials to be delivered through the MMV-led UNITAID-funded Improving Severe Malaria Outcomes (ISMO) project. The project will ensure that the drug is available and healthcare workers trained in its correct administration in six countries with a high burden of malaria: Nigeria, Cameroon, Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi and Uganda.
Injectable artesunate has been recommended by the WHO as the preferred treatment for severe malaria since 2011. In response to WHO’s revised guidance, MMV established the ISMO consortium, along with two partners, the Clinton Health Access Initiative and Malaria Consortium. The goal of the project is to support scaled-up use of this life-saving drug. In 2013, UNITAID awarded the ISMO consortium a grant of USD 34 million to support accelerated adoption of injectable artesunate in these key countries, and to diversify and strengthen the global supply of injectable artesunate.
The 300,000 vials will be sufficient to treat approximately 75,000 to 100,000 children with severe malaria. They complement the 900,000 vials already supplied by the Global Fund to Cameroon and Uganda. MMV and UNITAID have worked closely with the Global Fund to negotiate the best possible price for the medicine, thereby maximizing the number of patients treated.
By the end of 2014, 4.8 million vials will have been procured through the combined efforts of MMV, UNITAID, and the Global Fund. As a result, these efforts are having a life-saving impact today, while helping to shape the market supply and demand for this medicine in the future.