The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has given a licence to a new drug that will treat recurring malaria.
Malaria caused by the parasite plasmodium vivax makes 8.5 million people in the world ill each year.
In a way to fight the parasite, scientist from Oxford University made a phenomenal achievement in producing a drug called tafenoquine.
Tafenoquine being the first anti-malarial drug to be given a clean bill of health in over 60 years is expected to flush the parasite out of its hiding place in the liver and prevent people coming down with malaria again.
It can be taken alongside another medicine to treat the immediate infection.
“The ability to get rid of the parasite in the liver with a single dose of tafenoquine is a phenomenal achievement and in my mind, it represents one of the most significant advances in malaria treatment in the last 60 years,” said Ric Price, a professor of Clinical Medicine at Oxford University.
The researchers stated that unlike primaquine( a medication that can be used to get rid of malaria hiding in the liver) which has to be taken for 14 days before a change can be felt, the human system just needs a single dose of tafenoquine to rid of the parasite hiding in the liver.
Meanwhile, the researchers warned individuals with an enzyme problem called ‘G6PD deficiency’ to stay away from the drug as it can cause severe anaemia, adding that the dosage must be completed to avoid further cases of re-infection.