News and Information

China Pledges to Support Africa
September 2, 2005

New Vision (Kampala)

September 2, 2005
Posted to the web September 2, 2005

Paul Busharizi

CHINA will by the end of September launch an anti-malaria plan for Africa aimed at eradicating the deadly disease on the continent, a top Chinese pharmaceutical has said.

Holleypharm, drawing on their 40-year experience in battling malaria in China, have proposed an anti-malaria campaign that will include distribution of mosquito nets, antimalarial medicine and community education to be sponsored by the Chinese government.

Holleypharm's marketing division Holley-Cotec, had proposed that an initial pilot project be carried out in Tanzania and Cameroon but the Chinese government is pushing for four countries in the pilot.

"The plan is coming along very well and we expect that by the end of September the Chinese government should launch the anti-malaria project," Holley-Cotec president Charles Lu said in an interview.

Lu was talking a day after his company launched their anti-malarial drug Cotecxin on Tuesday night at the Sheraton Kampala Hotel.

The drug, which has an artemisinin derivative as its active ingredient, has been proven to be more potent than quinine with fewer side effects.

Lu said his company had also put in a bid to supply 1.8 million mosquito nets in a World Health Organisation sponsored project.

Holley-Cotec is trying to link up with international aid organizations to make the drug readily available in Africa, Lu said.

Noting that Uganda has about 10 million malaria cases annually, the Chinese ambassador Fan Guijin, said Cotecxin was an effective drug that could help in Uganda's anti-malaria struggle.

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"Cotecxin can play a big role. It may not reduce the number of cases dramatically but can reduce a great deal of the suffering of the people," he said, but urged Holley-Cotec to find means of making the drug affordable.

However, most of the demand for the artemisinin was coming from western pharmaceutical companies, which are stockpiling it and pushing up prices of the artemisinin-based drugs.


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