Malaria is a treatable but complex disease. Parasitic resistance has grown throughout sub-Saharan Africa to chloroquine and sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine, leading to treatment failure against P. falciparum malaria, the deadliest form of the disease. Underdeveloped rural areas with high transmission rates often lack clinics, trained specialists or diagnostic tools. Recently developed Rapid Diagnostic Tests are helpful in confirming malaria cases and increasingly the type of malaria parasite present.  

For all of these reasons, the World Health Organization (WHO) recommends Artemisinin-based Combination Therapies (ACTs) for the presumptive treatment of uncomplicated P. falciparum malaria. The WHO also recommends that countries change anti-malarial treatment policy, preferably to ACTs, when existing drugs prove to be less than 90 percent effective. For more detailed information, please refer to the WHO's "Guidelines for the Treatment of Malaria".

The production and distribution of substandard and counterfeit drugs, including ACTs, is a vast, increasing and underreported, problem. Adulterated medicines contain little or none of the active ingredients found in their branded equivalent, and often have adverse health effects. AFM has made policy recommendations based the global threat of fake and substandard drugs and the qualitative risks associated with counterfeit medicines. 

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