Malaria Cris Bouroncle/Getty Images

Le retour d’un paludisme meurtrier

SINGAPOUR – La réduction considérable du nombre de décès liés au paludisme depuis le début du siècle constitue l’une des plus grandes réussites des dernières années en matière de santé publique. Grâce à la mobilisation concertée d’investissements en faveur de la prévention, du diagnostic et du traitement, le nombre de personnes mourant chaque année de cette maladie a diminué de 60 % depuis l’an 2000, ce qui représente plus de six millions de vies humaines sauvées.

Mais alors même que le rêve d’une éradication du paludisme s’approche peu à peu de la réalité, une résistance de plus en plus forte aux médicaments vient menacer ces avancées remarquables. Une forme résistante à l’artémisinine, le plus efficace des médicaments contre le paludisme, est en effet apparue au Cambodge, et se propage actuellement dans la région du delta du Mékong.

Sans une réponse rapide et efficace, cette nouvelle forme résistante de paludisme risque de se généraliser – phénomène déjà observé à deux reprises concernant d’autres médicaments contre le paludisme. Gouvernements, organisations internationales, groupes de la société civile et entreprises doivent prendre des mesures d’urgence afin de prévenir la survenance d’une épidémie de paludisme résistant, et d’empêcher qu’un épisode douloureux se reproduise.

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