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    July  15 ,1999


Ministry Substitutes New Anti-Malaria Pill for Old, Ineffective One

ADDIS ABABA, July 15 (WIC) - The Ministry of Health has disclosed that it has been obliged to substitute a new anti-malaria pill for an old one, which has become ineffective, as part of efforts to protect against the dangerous malaria spreading mosquito organism called Plasmodium Falciparum.  The Ministry explained that the replacement was necessitated by the fact that the organisms have developed immunity by the Chloroquine.

The Ministry in a statement it made to WIC said that it has now replaced Chloroquine, with a new one called Sulfadoxine-Pyrimephamine.  Ato Daniel Kebede, representative of the Ministry's Malaria and Vector-Diseases Control Task Force, said the replacement of Chloroquine was based on a study conducted in the past 4 years for seeking effective cure to the disease which has caused massive deaths.

Ato Daniel said that according to the study, directives on new prescriptions have been passed down to all states.

Pointing out that the new pill vaccine has been confirmed curative, Ato Daniel said adults can protect themselves against the disease by taking three pills at a time.

Ato Daniel added that the Ministry at present has a stock sufficient for two million people and that half of the stock will be distributed to the state during the current year.

He also denied earlier estimates that only two million people are annually afflicted by malaria saying the figure is as high as between five to seven million people.

Recalling that 304 metric tones of DDT has been purchased and distributed to the regional states, Ato Daniel also disclosed that anti-mosquito chemicals have been sprayed on one million houses beginning last month.

He also revealed that 150 metric tones of Malathion has been purchased from abroad and that this will be sprayed in August and September in malaria-prone localities.

Approached for his comment, Ato Tsegaye Redda, General manager of the Ethiopian Medicines Factory, said Chloroquine will nonetheless be used for protecting against the mosquito organism called Vivax Malaria.