Chinese pharmaceutical company Fosun Pharma on Tuesday donated anti-malaria drugs to Kenya’s health ministry to boost the war against the tropical disease that is the leading cause of death among pregnant women and children below five years in the country.
Rashid Aman, chief administrative secretary in the Ministry of Health, said the donation will aid the treatment of severe cases.
“The drug that is being donated is Artesunate injection 60 mg for the treatment of severe malaria, a life-threatening condition,” Aman said during COVID-19 briefing in Nairobi.
Aman said the company is a World Health Organization (WHO) qualified manufacturer of anti-malaria drugs.
He said the donation consisted of 400,000 vials of the injectable drug valued at 73 million shillings (about 670,000 U.S. dollars).
“This quantity of the drug can treat about 70,000 patients with severe malaria. They will go a long way in helping us to buffer our stocks for persons with severe malaria,” said Aman.
He said that Kenya’s public hospitals in 2019 treated 250,000 cases of severe malaria with artesunate, and 75 percent were children below 15 years.
Aman said the government had put solid measures in place to ensure that malaria prevention and treatment programs were not disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic.