Refugees Well Schooled in ACT Use

Aug 2008
Beginning in January 2007, the drug, a type of Artemisinin-combined Therapy (ACT) known locally as “Alu,” has been made available to the United Nations through PMI.
Genoveva Nduwiman is a 35-year-old mother living in Kanembwa Camp where she contracted malaria. She was cured by following the three days of treatment needed through ACTs. Source: USAID/Tanzania

There’s a new wonder drug fighting malaria in Tanzania, and with support from the U.S. President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI), Burundian Refugees in Kanembwa Camp in northwestern Tanzania are accessing these medicines and recovering from malaria in record time. Beginning in January 2007, the drug, a type of Artemisinin-combined Therapy (ACT) known locally as “Alu,” has been made available to the United Nations through PMI. While average regimens include three days of treatment, requiring 24 pills, many refugees affirmed recently that they understand both how to take the medicine and that the new treatment is having a positive effect on their lives.

Genoveva Nduwiman is a 35-year-old mother and has lived in Kanembwa Camp, home to 14,393 Burundian refugees, since fleeing Burundi’s war 13 years ago. Geneveva described how she contracted malaria in March and received instruction about the new medicine from the camp’s health workers. She started to take the pills twice a day, morning and evening. Asked how many pills in total she consumed, Genoveva responded, “24.” Genoveva felt better in only three days and reported no unpleasant side effects.

When one of her children also contracted malaria (the leading killer of children in Tanzania), the child followed the required dosage, and “was playing again four days later,” according to Genoveva. Genoveva also said that she and her son sleep under a bed net.

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