A new drug to treat recurring malaria has been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Recurring malaria is said to have affect 8.5 million people around the world every year.
Tafenoquine, as the drug is called, can flush the parasite out of its hiding place in the liver and prevent people coming down with malaria again.
It is the first such anti-malarial drug to be given a clean bill of health in over 60 years. It can be administered with another medicine to treat the immediate infection.
Tafenoquine is expected to significantly reduce deaths from recurrent malaria.
However, researchers have advised that the dosage must be completed to avoid further cases of re-infection.
Also, individuals with an enzyme problem called ‘G6PD deficiency’ have been implored to stay away from the drug as it can cause severe anaemia.
The researchers advised that people should get tested for the deficiency before the drug is administered.
“The ability to get rid of the parasite in the liver with a single dose of tafenoquine is a phenomenal achievement and in my mind it represents one of the most significant advances in malaria treatment in the last 60 years,” said Ric Price, a professor of Clinical Medicine at Oxford University.
The drug has been developed by GlaxoSmith Kline, in partnership with the Medicines for Malaria Venture.
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