Malaria Cris Bouroncle/Getty Images

Il ritorno letale della malaria

SINGAPORE – La drastica riduzione di decessi per malaria dall’inizio del secolo è uno dei grandi successi della sanità pubblica negli ultimi anni. Grazie a degli investimenti coordinati nella prevenzione, nella diagnosi e nella cura, il numero dei decessi causati da questa malattia su base annuale è diminuito del 60% dal 2000, salvando più di sei milioni di vite.

Ciò nonostante, anche se il sogno di eliminare la malaria sembra sempre più vicino a diventare realtà, una crescente resistenza ai farmaci sta minacciando questi importanti risultati. La resistenza al farmaco antimalarico più efficace, l’artemisinina, è infatti emersa in Cambogia e si sta diffondendo in tutta la regione del delta del Mekong.

Senza un’azione efficace e tempestiva, questa nuova forma di resistenza alla malaria sarà sempre più diffusa con uno schema che si è già ripetuto due volte con i farmaci antimalarici precedenti. E’ quindi necessario che i governi, le organizzazioni internazionali, i gruppi della società civile e le aziende facciano dei passi immediati per prevenire che il fenomeno di resistenza ai farmaci antimalarici diventi un’epidemia e per evitare che questi episodi dolorosi si verfichino di nuovo.

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