Ministry of Health to Provide Cheap Anti-Malarials through Private Clinics

811 Views Kampala, Uganda
The Ministry of Health will soon start distributing cheap anti-malarial drugs through private clinics in order to increase access to vital medicines. The decision is the result of a two-month survey in western and eastern Uganda which indicated that between 60 and 80 percent of Ugandan get malaria treatment from the private sector. The districts studied were Pallisa, Budaka, Kamuli, Kaliro, Kamwenge, Kabarole, Mubende and Soroti. Dr. Ambrose Talisuna, a Commissioner in the Ministry of Health, says the private clinics will being to provide highly subsidized anti-malarial drugs with the support of the World Health Organization Affordable Medicine for Malaria program. He says the private clinics will supply Artemisinin Combination Therapies like Coartem that have been recommended as the best protection against malaria. The Ministry of Health is already providing free Coartem at all government hospitals and health centers. Talisuna says the drugs supplied to the private clinics will be branded differently in order avoid the illegal sale of the free drugs. The Ministry of Health survey revealed that despite a Government program to halt the use of Chloroquine first-line of treatment for malaria, it is still the most stocked anti-malarial. Chloroquine accounts for 23 percent of all anti-malarial drugs in Uganda, followed by Quinine at 18 percent. The Artemisinin Combination Therapies account for only 10 percent of the available drugs. The study was conducted in partnership with Medicines for Malaria Venture, a non-profit drug research organization.