Saving more lives with current medicines

“On Sunday 3rd of May, 2015, Precious started vomiting and had diarrhoea. He had a high temperature and within a short time became very weak. I had to rush him to the hospital. I was so afraid that I left him in God’s and the doctors’ hands,” said Mrs Bosede Adebayo, whose son, 11-month-old Precious, was admitted to the General Hospital Okeho, Ibadan, Oyo State, Nigeria, on confirmation of severe malaria.

The first dose of injectable artesunate (Artesun® 60 mg, manufactured by Guilin Pharmaceutical) was immediately administered and after 3 days Precious was well enough to be discharged.

“The response to treatment was very encouraging and amazing,” said Dr Olusola Ayeleke the treating physician. “Precious responded quickly. Following the first dose there was significant improvement and by the time the second and third doses had been administered, he began eating well, taking oral medications and was good to go.”

Dr Ayeleke attributed the positive outcome to the use of injectable artesunate provided to the hospital through the Improving Severe Malaria Outcomes (ISMO) project, supported by UNITAID, MMV and the Malaria Consortium in collaboration with the Oyo State Government. “Before the MMV-led ISMO project, treating severe malaria was really challenging because we were using intravenous quinine,” said Dr Ayeleke. “There was increased mortality due to malaria. Intravenous quinine is associated with side effects and must be administered more frequently. Injectable artesunate makes the management of severe malaria easier and more fruitful.”

“After the ISMO training, health workers can use injectable artesunate to treat severe malaria patients,” said Dr Campbell Ibijoke Oluyomi (pictured on the left), the Consultant Paediatrician in charge of Oni Memorial Children’s Hospital. “It is very fast acting and so patients recover from the condition faster and are no longer dying from severe malaria.”