How to save 200 000 lives a year

Issue: BCMJ, vol. 53, No. 5, June 2011, Page 236 News

A simple switch from quinine to artesunate could potentially save 200000 lives in Africa in the coming year.

Considered more effective and safer than quinine, artesunate is particularly effective in children, who respond to the new drug much more quickly. While quinine is administered intravenously three times a day in a drip that can take up to 4 hours, artesunate can be given in just 4 minutes, relieving both patient and staff burdens. Also, due to the complexities of administering quinine, children are almost four times more likely to die before even receiving treatment.

The struggles in initiating the switch arise from cost: the difference between the two drugs is roughly $31 million per year. Médicins Sans Frontières (MSF) and the World Health Organization are petitioning African governments to change their treatment protocols and are encouraging donors to voice their support. 

Every year malaria kills over 600 000 African children under the age of 5. For more information, visit

. How to save 200 000 lives a year. BCMJ, Vol. 53, No. 5, June, 2011, Page(s) 236 - News.

Above is the information needed to cite this article in your paper or presentation. The International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) recommends the following citation style, which is the now nearly universally accepted citation style for scientific papers:
Halpern SD, Ubel PA, Caplan AL, Marion DW, Palmer AM, Schiding JK, et al. Solid-organ transplantation in HIV-infected patients. N Engl J Med. 2002;347:284-7.

About the ICMJE and citation styles

The ICMJE is small group of editors of general medical journals who first met informally in Vancouver, British Columbia, in 1978 to establish guidelines for the format of manuscripts submitted to their journals. The group became known as the Vancouver Group. Its requirements for manuscripts, including formats for bibliographic references developed by the U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM), were first published in 1979. The Vancouver Group expanded and evolved into the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE), which meets annually. The ICMJE created the Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals to help authors and editors create and distribute accurate, clear, easily accessible reports of biomedical studies.

An alternate version of ICMJE style is to additionally list the month an issue number, but since most journals use continuous pagination, the shorter form provides sufficient information to locate the reference. The NLM now lists all authors.

BCMJ standard citation style is a slight modification of the ICMJE/NLM style, as follows:

  • Only the first three authors are listed, followed by "et al."
  • There is no period after the journal name.
  • Page numbers are not abbreviated.

For more information on the ICMJE Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals, visit

BCMJ Guidelines for Authors

Leave a Reply