An international consultative workshop on Anti-malarial Drug Efficacy studies in Ethiopia healed on the 8th and 9th of July 2013.
The workshop, that was organized by the Ethiopian Health and Nutrition Research Institute, EHNRI, the Federal Ministry of Health and WHO was conducted under the theme of Strengthening the collaborative efforts in Malaria Therapeutic Efficacy Studies (MTES) in Ethiopia.
According to the Workshop was mainly conducted to discuss the existing efficacy status of Artemether-Lumefantrine, AL and other antimalarial drugs in the country, discuss the issue of adherence to standard WHO’s protocols to have a uniform data collection system for the Malaria TES carried out by various organizations, and point out the way forward to enhance Ethiopia’s pre-preparedness against the looming danger of AL Drug Resistance.
‘’Constant and organized monitoring and surveillance of resistance to Artemisinin combination Therapys, ACT and other anti malarial drugs is a requirement in order to have updated information on the drug status and it is recommended by the WHO to conduct therapeutic efficacy studies (TES) to antimalarial drugs every two years’’ said Ashenafi Assefa, Head of Malaria and other parasitic diseases team at EHNRI,
‘’EHNRI has been conducting similar studies for the past several years, some academic institutions and partners are also involved in drug efficacy studies. It is now high time to organize and standardize all this efforts in such a way that it will provide relevant evidence to the malaria control program’’ added Ashenafi
During the workshop, more than 20 papers were presented by assigned participants of the workshop that deal with the available data on drug efficacy in Ethiopia and global perspectives. Participants of the workshop have also provided several recommendations that help to strengthen the data collection process and interventions.
Participants have also discussed ways of proper data acquisition and exchange systems for prompt recognition of resistance foci in Ethiopia, in order to inform the policy makers to take the necessary containment measures.
The workshop has attracted over 55 participants from Ethiopian Ministry of Health, Regional Health Bureaus, WHO, Research Institutes, Academia, National and International partner NGOs.