Artemisinin-Resistance Containment Project
The artemisinin-based combination therapies, known as ACTs, were designed as combinations of two effective drugs with different modes of action, and it was thought that this would preserve their use for many years. However, studies in recent years confirmed resistance to artemisinin had emerged along the Thai-Cambodian border.
In response to this potentially catastrophic situation, the World Health Organization joined forces with the health ministries of Cambodia and Thailand, and other partners, to develop a project to contain - and ultimately eliminate - the artemisinin resistance from the border area.
This development alarmed health authorities as resistance to a key anti-malaria drug, chloroquine, started in this border region, and later spread to Africa, causing a surge in malaria deaths globally. If this happened with artemisinin-based malaria drugs, the world would lose its best treatment against malaria – and the gains made could be rapidly reversed.