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New Antimalarial Drug Launched in Uganda

Ministry of Health has recommended another Antimalarial drug that can be used to treat, control and prevent malaria in Uganda.

Pyramax, a product of a Korean company Shin Poong Pharm and Escorts Pharmaceutical was launched yesterday Friday at Sheraton Hotel in Kampala

According to Dr. Opigo Jimmy, a program Manager, National Malaria Control Program Uganda at the Ministry of Health, the new drug will not replace the existing recommended drugs for the treatment of malaria but will compliment them in the fight against malaria which is still the main cause of deaths in Uganda especially among children.

“Because of efforts by government and the private sector, there was a 40% cut in malaria cases in Uganda last year. However, Uganda is still among the top contributors of malaria deaths worldwide. It is the 5th contributor of malaria cases and contributes 9% of all the world deaths resulting from malaria. So any new innovation/ effort is clearly appreciated” he said

According to Dr Opigo, the high prevalence of malaria is attributed to geographical location of the country.

Uganda is based on the equator which gives mosquitoes a conducive environment to strive. In Uganda, malaria transmission occurs throughout the year different from other countries that not near the equator.

“The malaria community is constantly innovating and developing new products that are safer, more convenient and cheaper. The new drug, Pyramax comes in at a time when the government of Uganda is intensifying the fight against malaria and we are confident it will go a long way in reducing new malaria cases and eliminating malaria in a long run” he said

He further noted that the ministry and National Drug Authority has done all the checks to ensure the drug is effective and safe for use.

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According to the producers, Pyramax Tablets are administered once a day for three days with or without food and is fit for both adults and children above 20kg. Children between 5-19kg can use Pyramax granules for oral suspension.

However, the drug is not recommended for pregnant women in the first semester of their pregnancy.

Wonjune Chang, an official from Shin Poong Pharma, the producers of the medicine said the medicine has been approved by international bodies like European medical association and has been listed by Global Fund and World Health Organisation as an essential medicine.

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