PYRAMAX, THE NEW ANTIMALARIAL
It was at around 11.00 Am on Wednesday, the 20th of June 2018 when a young woman, roughly 25 years of age came running into the Obama pediatric ward at JOOTRH with a young boy in her arms. She was crying helplessly. To her, it seemed like the end of it all, she thought she was going to lose her son.
The boy was convulsing. His eyes were rolled upwards and he seemed to be staring at something in the sky. His body was so hot. The mother was terrified.
Dr. Ogolla Don was on call that day at the pediatric ward, and luckily he received the child at the HDU unit. The child, let’s call him Mike, was running a fever of 40 degrees. He had been convulsing for more than 30 minutes now. His heart was bounding and racing. The mother watched from a far as Dr. Ogolla found a vein and pushed in Diazepam. And administered an antipyretic.
Yes, you are right, if the mother had delayed just by a few minutes, the killer malaria disease would have mercilessly claimed another innocent life. No mother deserves to experience the pain of losing their child at such a tender age. So many measures have been put in place, prevention of malaria campaigns especially in the endemic areas have been optimized. A vaccine for the same was rolled out just a few weeks ago.http://thedoctor.co.ke/finally-the-world-gets-a-malaria-vaccine/ But the parasites are hearing none of that. Malaria is still here with us. And for Mike, he will luckily live to tell the tale.
Over the decades, multiple drugs have been developed against Malaria, and one after the other, the parasites have mutated through them. Currently Artemesin derivatives and for our region, AL is still viable against uncomplicated malaria. But, for how long will this hold? How long till the parasites beat us again?
However, God works in mysterious ways, and for malaria, he has chosen to work through Perspective Healthcare and in partnership with a South Korean drug company.
In an event organized by Perspective Healthcare and grace by the deputy Governor of the great county of Kisumu, at Acacia Premier Hotel in Kisumu, on the 20th of June (same day I saw Mike), the two companies launched a brand new antimalarial drug, pyramax. Pyramax is an artemesin contained compound made up of Pyronaridine tetraphosphate and artesunate.
According to Dr. Sawa, how was in charge of the team that carried out trials for the drug in Migori county, Pyramax proved to be safe for use in all age patients. He also said that pyramax, whose efficacy was tested in a single blind study in comparison to AL, proved to have fewer cases of recurrence of malaria.
Prof. Berhnards Ogutu, was also part of the team. As part of his speech, he said, “we have not encountered any form of resistance to artemesin yet, the resistant parasites have been found in Asia but not in our region.” He further confirmed that Pyramax had been approved for use by the WHO and the FDA. He further added that pyramax had been in development for over 10 years and congratulated the team that had worked tirelessly to realize this.
Officially launching the drug, one of the lead directors at perspective health, Minnie Gitau, pitched the drugs slogan, “Beyond efficacy towards patient.” She gave pyramax doses and explained its convenience. Pyramax is administered only once a day. And the dosage depends on the weight of the patient. The drug is affordable as its prices are within the range of the existing artemesin combinations.
Speaking at the event, the deputy governor expressed his joy that the drug was actually being launched for the first time, in the entire world in Kenya. He dearly thanked Perspective health and the south Korean company for their efforts. He further expressed the willingness and readiness of the county government to do whatever it takes to promote health in the county and the country. He mentioned some of the steps the county had taken towards better healthcare including the launch of the universal healthcare system.
Pyramax, is already available in all countrywide outlets and is more than ready for prescription and use. But this does not mean we abandon the use of AL, in fact, prof. Ogutu insisted that both drugs be used concomitantly to confuse the parasites and avoid mutations.
Pyramax, Beyond efficacy, towards patient!
By Nyadimu Festo