Antimalarial drugs are agents that are used to treat malaria. If an infected anopheles mosquito bites a person, then the infection of a certain protozoan is transmitted to the person. This condition is known as malaria. A malarial patient experiences anemia, chills, and fever. Malaria can be prevented by the use of antimalarial drugs as a prophylactic measure before entering an endemic area.
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Different antimalarial drugs are used for different stages of the life cycle of the parasite. Some antimalarial drugs are effective against acute attack of malaria, while some are used as prophylactic agents that kill the parasite when it enters the host body. Combination drugs are available for the treatment of malaria. These drugs contain more than one antimalarial drug in one dose or pill.
Combination antimalarial drugs provide better antimicrobial action due to increased compliance that prevents drug resistant strains of bacteria from emerging. Prevention and treatment of malaria can be done using antimalarial quinolones. The parasite degrades hemoglobin during the blood stages of the life cycle of malaria. Free heme is released due to degradation of hemoglobin, which is toxic to the parasite. The polymerization process of free heme leads to formation of non-toxic hemozoin. Antimalarial quinolones interfere with this polymerization by accumulating toxic free heme and kills the malaria parasite.
Rise in prevalence of malaria across the world boosts demand for antimalarial drugs. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), nearly half of the world’s population is at risk of malaria. In 2015, there were about 429,000 malaria deaths, and around 212 million malaria cases globally. South Africa accounts for major share of the global malaria burden.
In 2015, the country accounted for 92% of malaria deaths and 90% of malaria cases. In 2016, there were 216 million cases of malaria in 91 countries, an increase of nearly 5 million cases over that in 2015. In 2016, there were 445,000 deaths due to malaria, an increase of 1000 deaths as compared to 2015. In 2016, approximately US$ 2.7 Bn was invested in funding all over the world, and governments of endemic countries contributed nearly 31% of funding, that accounted for US$ 800 Mn to control malaria.
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