Chinese scientist discovery helps Rwanda roll back malaria

KIGALI, Oct. 6 (Xinhua) -- Malaria researchers in Rwanda have applauded Chinese scientist Tu Youyou's discovery of an effective therapy against malaria that made her win Nobel prize for medicine.

KIGALI, Oct. 6 (Xinhua) -- Malaria researchers in Rwanda have applauded Chinese scientist Tu Youyou's discovery of an effective therapy against malaria that made her win Nobel prize for medicine.

Commenting on the prizes, Dr Corine Karema, the head of malaria and other parasitic diseases at the Rwanda Biomedical Centre (RBC) said she was so happy that this time the Nobel prize is awarded to people who have discovered tools already in use for other purpose to save lives of millions of people in need.

"Particularly in Rwanda, we have chosen the most efficacious treatment based on artemisinine since 2006. Thanks to this approach, Rwanda has seen a decline of malaria cases and severe cases, as Artemisinin combination therapies have contributed with mosquito nets to the decrease of malaria burden in Rwanda," she said on Tuesday.

The east African country has progressively managed to curb malaria related deaths. The proportion of malaria deaths has been maintained to 5 percent, according to official statistics.

The country maintains a tough fight against malaria with the ultimate goal to eliminate malaria deaths by 2018.

Rwanda's Ministry of Health and other concerned stakeholders have committed to ensuring that every Rwandan gets an early opportunity to be treated on time.

Tu, born in 1930, shared the 2015 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine with Irish-born William Campbell and Japan's Satoshi Omura for her discoveries concerning a novel therapy against malaria, the Nobel Assembly at Sweden's Karolinska Institute announced Monday.

Dr. Tu was inspired by Chinese traditional medicine in discovering Artemisinin, a drug that is now part of standard anti-malarial regimens and that has reduced death rates from the disease.

 

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