For a week now we have been traveling with the team of Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) across southern Mali, a region crossed by the River Niger and devastated by malaria. The disease is everywhere, and in the villages death is the outcome. But death is not inevitable - malaria can be cured.
If so many people fall victim to it, it is because they are still being treated with old drugs that over time have become ineffective. A new treatment has become available, ACT1. It is simple and effective, and is given over three days, but unfortunately is unavailable or too expensive for most people. For many of the people affected by the disease, women and children, the price is their life.
Now, 18 months after our journey, action is at last being taken at national level to ensure that these drugs will become available in the course of the year. But time is passing - and malaria kills …
1 Artemisinin-based combination therapy