The March of Washingtons Distributes $30,000 for Antimalarial Drugs in Uganda

28 May 2009
Africa Fighting Malaria
Washington, D.C. - The March of Washingtons - the first broad-based campaign to increase access to high-quality antimalarial drugs in Africa has just made its first donation. Artemisinin-based combination therapies (ACTs) have been delivered to Soft Power Health's clinic in Uganda - recognized as having the highest malaria transmission in the world and currently facing a severe shortage of antimalarial drugs.

Hedge Funds vs. Malaria & Pneumonia and Africa Fighting Malaria teamed up in May 2008 to launch the March of Washingtons to help address the lack of access to high-quality antimalarial drugs for people in Africa. 

"The March of Washingtons is a grassroots effort to buy good quality drugs and raise awareness of bad drugs," said Lance Laifer, founder of Hedge Funds vs. Malaria & Pneumonia. "The idea is simple: George Washington had malaria. George Washington is on the one dollar bill. Just one dollar can buy a malaria medicine for a person in Africa and support efforts to test for substandard drugs on sale in African markets. For every dollar we raise, we will buy a high-quality malaria treatment for a person in Africa and continue to work against the prevalence of substandard drugs."

$30,000 was donated to Soft Power Health for the purchase and distribution of Coartem®, the first line treatment for malaria in Uganda. This high-quality antimalarial drug was procured at a not-for-profit average price of $1 per treatment course delivered (Coartem® is formulated for infants, children, adolescents and adults). "With the funds from the March of Washingtons we will be able to overcome a severe stock-out of Coartem® in the country and start once again to treat the many cases of malaria we see every day," said Dr. Jessie Stone, Founder of Soft Power Health.

"An African child dies of malaria every 30 seconds," said Richard Tren, Director of Africa Fighting Malaria. "We have the tools to stop this from happening. ACTs are highly effective in treating malaria, but far too many Africans simply cannot access them. With the March of Washingtons, we are helping to overcome this and ensure that people have access to safe and effective treatment." 

Further funds raised by the March of Washingtons are being used to collect and test antimalarial drugs available in African countries and to ensure that substandard and proscribed antimalarial drugs are taken off the market.

To help in the fight against malaria, hold your own March of Washingtons or simply donate to the March of Washingtons by visiting our website at http://www.marchofwashingtons.org/

http://fightingmalaria.org/pdfs/mowdonationofcoartem.pdf