The traditional, low-cost mainstay drugs for malaria, chloroquine (CQ) and sulphadoxine-pyrimethamine (SP), have a very limited lifetime left in terms of their clinical usefulness. These drugs have been relatively ineffective in Asia for two decades, and rising drug resistance levels have now also rendered them ineffective in many sub-Saharan African countries. Artemisinin drugs, such as artesunate and artemether, derived from the Chinese herb Artemisia annua, are rapidly being adopted as standard treatments in Africa, in the hope that effective treatment will assist in reversing the apparently increasing death rates in African children.
Garner, P.; Graves, P.M. The Benefits of Artemisinin Combination Therapy for Malaria Extend Beyond the Individual Patient. PLoS Medicine (2005) 2 (4) e105. [DOI: 10.1371/journal.pmed.0020105]