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General News Tue, 24 Oct 2000

New Anti-malaria Drug Out

A New Anti-malaria drug manufactured by a Belgian company, Dafra Pharma, has been introduced into the country at the launch of the product in Accra. The drugs Arinate, Artesiane and Artemether were launched under the theme: "Arinate rolls back malaria in Africa".

Launching the product, the Trade Attache at the Belgian Consulate, Mr. Goran Dimitrijevic, said the agricultural sector in Ghana can contribute towards the fight against malaria.

He said Belgium ranks sixth on the list of Ghana's European traders and that in 1998 Belgium imported from Ghana, especially Cocoa, diamonds and fruits that amounted to $53 million. Mr. Kwabena Bediako Sarpong, Managing Director of Spelling B Chemist at Achimota, Accra and the local representatives of the Belgian Company, said the introduction of the new drug is to help eliminate malaria in Africa to harness the continent's potentials.

Earlier, Dr. John Gyamong, Head of Research Unit, Ministry of Health, said malaria is of public health importance, with grave consequences and the emergence of resistance to drugs by parasite is a problem and therefore, has to look at the Artesunate for solution. He said 40 per cent of outpatient visits are attributed to malaria as well as 25 to 28 per cent of deaths in children under five years.

Source: Ghanaian Chronicle