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50 % of Cameroonians in need of treatment against HIV now have access to such health care. In the early 2000s only 1 % had such a possibility yet in less than ten years their numbers have gone from just a few hundred to nearly 80 000.
From the beginning of the decade, a fall in the price of antiretroviral medicines( 1) started the trend. Then decentralization of access to care, set in train by the government in 2002, followed by the availability of tritherapy( 2) free-of-charge, since May 2007, have allowed this incredible progress. Commissioned by the Cameroon Ministry of Public Health, the IRD researchers and their partners in the South and the North( 3) have set up an assessment programme on this bold decentralization reform, with the support of the French Agence Nationale de Recherche sur le Sida et les hépatites virales (ANRS, France). They find that today, the health care provision for patients is achieving performances at least as good in the district services( 4) as in Yaoundé or Douala, the political and economic capitals.
Malaria kills between one and three million people each year. The African continent suffers 90% of these deaths. The pathogen responsible is Plasmodium falciparum , a parasite transmitted to humans by Anopheles mosquitoes.
Treatments exist which in the past have proved to be effective, such as chloroquine. However, confronted by the emergence in Africa of resistant parasitic forms in the 1980s, monotherapies 1 failed. Researchers from the IRD and the Organisation de coordination pour la lutte contre les endémies en Africa centrale , working in conjunction with the Cameroon Ministry of Public Health 2, recently tested the efficacies of two-drug combination therapies based on an artemisinin 3 derivative, the latest development in antimalarial medicines. The result was a 96% success rate. The two-drug combination helps alleviate that drug’s rapid elimination by the human body and holds back the emergence of resistance to this new treatment.