Single-exposure cure

Rithsankan Kea Kim lives with his wife and two sons in Oslev, a small mountain village in Cambodia, close to the Thai border. He farms soya beans for a living. In 2014, he suffered from malaria five times; twice it was caused by P. vivax and three times it was a mixed infection. “I feel pain in my whole body, in my bones too,” said Rithsankan.
 
In Cambodia, ACTs are used as first-line treatment for the blood stage of uncomplicated malaria caused by all species of parasite.1 In view of concerns over G6PD deficiency in the country,2 primaquine is currently not routinely used to prevent the relapse of P. vivax.
 
Suffering from malaria repeatedly takes its toll on individuals, families and the community. “When I have malaria I can’t make any business to support my family. I am the head of the family and so my wife and children rely on me,” said Rithsankan.
 
“They can’t go to the field either, as they need to look after me. It takes me a long time to recover. After the treatment I am weak. I wish for a treatment that I could take just once.”
 

MMV is working in partnership with GSK to develop tafenoquine, a single-exposure anti-relapse medicine.

GSK is also working with the Foundation for Appropriate Technologies in Health (PATH) to develop a new diagnostic.

 

 

1.  National Treatment Guidelines for Malaria in Cambodia.

2.  Howes RE et al. “G6PD deficiency prevalence and estimates of affected populations in malaria endemic countries: a geostatistical model-based map.” PLoS Med. 9(11): e1001339 (2012).