22 Nov 2005

WHO is sceptical of Solomon Islands institute's claim to have found a cure for malaria

7:27 pm on 22 November 2005

The World Health Organisation is dismissing claims by a Solomon Islands research institute that it has found a cure for malaria.

The Malaria Training and Research Institute in Kukum says it gave a traditional herbal remedy to 300 people.

The people who had malaria got better within a week and of the others, not a single one got malaria even though the institute expected some would.

But the World Health Organisation's pacific malaria specialist, Dr Kevin Palmer is sceptical of the Insitute's "cure" claim.

"There's no real scientific basis to this. We don't know what the material is, we don't know how it was tested. I worked there for six years......and I know pretty much the laboratory capacity that they're capable of."

Kevin Palmer says the Institute has claimed before it has found a cure for malaria which turned out to be false.

Bernard Bakote'e says the Institute will launch clinical trials on the herbal medicine next year.