Thursday, July 08, 2010

Artepharm Corporation pledges to eradicate malaria in Africa's Comoros Islands

The Qatar Foundation and the Federal Chinese Government have invested $5 million and $3 million, respectively, to purchase Artepharm Corp.'s radically successful malaria treatment for use in the Comoros Islands. The goal is to eradicate the disease from the entire island chain within a few years. In addition, anonymous private donors contributed $2 million to fund the efforts. The Qatar Foundation is a private non-profit organization founded by one of the members of the Qatari royal family.

The Comoros Islands are a prime breeding ground for malaria, mostly due to island's temperate climate and dense population. Located near the Mozambique/Tanzania border in eastern Africa, the islands are home to over 800,000 people, of which 28% are infected with malaria. The disease remains one of Africa's biggest killers despite easy prevention strategies and relatively cheap treatments. Of the one million who die from malaria annually, 90% of them are Africans.

Previous efforts by Artepharm to eradicate the disease have been extremely successful. In 2007, the 'ArteQuick' Malaria treatment was able to cure 95% of the infected population on one Comoros island. ArteQuick stops parasite development in the patient within two hours of receiving the treatment. People are generally completely cured within two days of receiving the drug.

-Matthew Thwaites