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Letter to the editor
Editor, – The article 'Malaria prevention in the expatriate and long-term traveller' (Aust Prescr 2002;25:66-9)was good but deficient in a few areas. I am a pharmacist living in a malaria endemic area of Nigeria. By virtue of this I am aware of other ways of managing malaria as we are faced with this terrible disease for a lifetime.
In the section on the malaria standby treatment regimens, attention was not drawn to the use of dihydroartemisinine - a novel drug developed from the malaria herb Qinghaosu in China. This drug happens to be the most effective and safest anti-malarial compared to the others listed in the article. It has a very fast onset of action and adverse effects that are not debilitating.
I would emphasise the life cycle of the plasmodium parasite, as the dormanthypnozoites and gametocyte forms in the liver and blood respectively contribute significantly in reinfection and transmission of the diseases. The need for a radical cure when the expatriate or traveller returns home means there is a possible role for a drug like primaquine.
In conclusion, these aspects would definitely add the cherry on the cake and make the article well balanced.
Bamgboye Olusegun Raymond
Department of Clinical Pharmacy
University of Benin
Benin City, Edo State