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MILESTONE: Study finds efficacy of malaria drugs in Tanzania above 95%

14 Mar 2024
MILESTONE: Study finds efficacy of malaria drugs in Tanzania above 95%
Dr. Kefas Mugittu, Shinda Malaria TES Advisor and Senior research scientist at Ifakara presenting findings during a dissemination meeting with key stakeholders in Dodoma, Tanzania. Credit: Shinda Malaria

Results of the “Therapeutic Efficacy Study (TES)” conducted last year in Tanzania have revealed that the efficacy and safety of malaria drugs administered to patients is above 95%, meeting the World Health Organization standards.

TES are studies focusing on the ability of a treatment or intervention to achieve the desired outcome in patients, effectively addressing their condition or symptoms. It's essentially how well a therapy works in real-world settings.

This study was conducted by the United States President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI) funded-Shinda Malaria project in 2023 at study health centers in Mbeya, Mtwara, Kagera, Tabora and Mwanza regions.

The Shinda Malaria project TES Advisor, Dr. Kefas Mugittu, presented the results at a dissemination workshop held in Dodoma today before diverse stakeholders, including representatives from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID); the President’s Office – Regional Administration and Local Government (PO-RALG); the Tanzania’s Ministry of Health (MOH); the Tanzania’s National Malaria Control Program (NMCP), and members of the local health management committees where TES studies took place.

Dr. Mugittu outlined the evolution of Artemisinin Partial Resistance and Tanzania's position, providing insights into the TES setup in Tanzania and offered updates on the implementation of the TES in 2023.

He concluded with a detailed overview of the 2023 PCR-corrected TES findings from various health centers, including Ipinda - Mbeya, Michiga - Mtwara, Nkwenda - Kagera, Simbo - Tabora, Karume - Mwanza, and Nkwenda - Kagera.

Both studies revealed that the efficacy and safety of malaria drugs – AL, DP, and ASAQ – remained above 95%, meeting the WHO standards as safe and efficacious medicines.

Despite the outcomes showing efficacy and safety of antimalarials in the country, the panel of experts called for serious measures to ensure that the disease do not further spreading to other parts of the country