Segments in this Video

Artimesian Molecule (03:53)


In the Chongqing province in Southwestern China, Holley Pharm, which specializes in plant based medicines, cultivates artemisia annua for antimalarial drugs. This drug was developed by Chinese scientists in Vietcong during the Vietnam War, but is thirty times more expensive than older malaria treatments.

Malaria Treatments in Africa (05:35)

Burkina Faso is benefiting from new antimalarial drugs, but artemisinin is not widely available; most doctors in the developing world still utilize older drugs, such as chloroquine. Dr. Chris Hentschel, from the Medicines for Malaria Venture, and Dr. Alfred Tiono are administering the drug on a trial bases.

Creating Better Artemisia Annua (05:42)

Dr. Nelson Tan from Holley Pharm tours the plant dedicated to the extraction of artemisinin. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has funded a venture to make artemisia annua more effective; Dr. Dianna Bowles is confident the plant variants will be ten times more productive and lower the medicine’s cost.

Malaria Treatments Bright Future (05:44)

Certain African countries, such as Tanzania, Kenya, and Uganda, have begun growing artemisia annua. Tiono and Hentschel visit several malaria patients, one is healing quickly on the new drug, and the other is still suffering from his illness and taking the old antimalarials.

Credits: New Weapon Against Malaria (00:06)

Credits: New Weapon Against Malaria

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New Weapon Against Malaria

Part of the Series : Kill or Cure, Series 4
DVD (Chaptered) Price: $129.95
DVD + 3-Year Streaming Price: $194.93
3-Year Streaming Price: $129.95



A chemical developed by China for use by the Vietcong in the Vietnam War to fight malaria is providing new hope for millions of malaria sufferers. The substance is called artemisinin, which is extracted from the ginghao plant. The plant is grown in vast quantities in China and could do much to fight malaria, particularly in Africa—like in Burkina Faso, where we meet the patients who will benefit, although the yield from the plant is too low, so generating quantities to meet demand could be tricky. This is where scientists at Edinburgh University in the U.K. come in. They have been developing a technique to engineer a variety of the plant with much higher yields.

Length: 22 minutes

Item#: BVL144778

Copyright date: ©2008

Closed Captioned

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