Keiko’s Initiative

Keiko’s Initiative was created in remembrance of the life, vision, and work of Global Clinic founder, Anne Keiko Golambos.

Every day more than half of the world is at risk for contracting malaria. Out of an estimated 300-500 million cases that are reported annually, 1 million are fatal, which is equal to approximately one death every thirty seconds. Despite breakthroughs in modern medicine and humanitarian efforts to contain this virulent disease, it still remains without a cure, and an unavoidable threat 3.3 billion people tragically face on a daily basis. Entire communities are furthermore left helpless because they are deprived of proper prevention protocol as well as access to post-transmission drugs, either because of affordability or because their local health infrastructure does not offer adequate care.

Through Keiko’s Initiative, we hope to dramatically reduce that staggering number, and help eradicate malaria once and for all.

About the Disease

Malaria is an infectious parasitic disease—transmitted via mosquitoe bites—and of which there are four variants. Symptoms of all four may overlap one another and while some are benign (most closely resembling influenza, or the common flu) others are more violent and can be fatal. (Each disrupts blood flow to the body’s vital organs.) Plasmodium falciparum is the most deadly and the express strain that ultimately took Anne Keiko’s life.

Although there is no cure, advancements in medical research have led to modern drugs specifically manufactured to treat the disease. The most recent — and incidentally, the most effective in history — is artemisinin, derived from the sweet wormwood plant that the Chinese were the first to discover.

Prior to artemisinin, chloroquine was paramount for both prevention and treatment. However, malarial parasites eventually became resistant to it and the discovery and manipulation of artemisinin soon followed. Unfortunately, the same “resistant strain phenomena”[1] seems to be happening here; reports indicate that artemisinin-derived drugs have fallen susceptible to resistance as well. Blood samples reveal the malaria parasite is “building resistance”[2] to a key ingredient in artemisinin called artemether and that this is spreading along parts of Thailand, India, and Africa. This is, unfortunately, a patent indication of the limits to modern medicine. Several factors have led to this crippling discovery.

Firstly, the cost of artemisinin is not cheap. What’s more is that artemisinin cannot be solely administered as an effective solution. According to the World Health Organization[3], it must be given in conjunction with other drugs. However, these “combination-packs”4 bloat the already expensive price tag: As one report mentions, “A key problem [in the fight against malaria] is the unaffordability of the artemisinin combination drugs. A full treatment costs up to 65 times the minimum daily wage in some countries.” 5

Such treatments are costly not only to the individual, but to the healthcare system as well. As a result, many countries administer only artemisinin in their hospitals and clinics — giving the parasites opportunity to build greater resistance. The high cost has also led many companies and individuals to manufacture cheap derivatives or synthetics, which are not only ineffective, but dangerous, as they allow the parasites to increase their drug resistance, and more quickly. Because many cannot afford the ‘real thing’, they often fall prey to scams promising to be artemisinin. This reality forces affected individuals to purchase older anti-malaria drugs — to which the parasites have become completely resistant.

To compound the problem, many bypass their local hospital or health infrastructure and self-medicate, obtaining illegals — often with trace amounts of arteminisin, which only encourages the growth of resistance — and synthetics on the black market. Although self-medication is now strongly discouraged—and may even be enacted into law in some countries—requiring those suspected of malaria to be tested before any medicines are prescribed to them, there are still many who misdiagnose, or administer dangerous drugs into their already fragile bodies. All of these factors are contributing to a frightening reality: that anti-malarial drugs are, in short, losing their efficacy.

“ The current method of treating malaria is not ideal, efficient, or effective ”6

“One malaria drug after another has lost its effectiveness as the parasite has adapted. The prospect of losing artemisinin, the last effective weapon in the anti- malaria arsenal, has sent a chill through the global health community. There is no new anti-malaria drug in development that could readily takes its place.”6

This is what makes malaria so dangerous—not only because it is so globally pervasive but also that its carriers are so genetically adaptive. What makes it even worse is that these drug-resistant parasites are growing at an increasingly faster rate than modern medicine can compete with. The world has had to look for other remedies. With no current drug replacement in sight, the need for natural healing is crucial, especially for those who cannot and will not be able to afford whatever drug eventually makes it to market.

Fortunately, there is hope. What has been discovered is something holistic specialists and the Eastern hemisphere have known for thousands of years. Studies strongly indicate that combining acupuncture with drug therapy can occlude the physical spread of malaria within the body, which inevitably leads to a slowdown of the parasitic resistance rampant in malaria-prone countries. Keiko’s Initiative will provide adequate prevention and post-transmission treatments by supplementing anti-malarial drug treatment with the healing properties of acupuncture.

Acupuncture has long been a natural, proven method to treat myriad health disorders, including tuberculosis and acute pain. Although the practice has grown in popularity over the years, it is still regarded as a mystic and non-scientific practice by many cultures outside of Asia and parts of Europe. Removing this unfair stigma and exposing the world to its natural healing properties is one of the principle aims of Global Clinic.

Simply put, acupuncture “is a method of encouraging the body to promote natural healing and improve functioning;” there are no chemicals or drugs involved. This is done by inserting thin needles into precise acupuncture points in the body, encouraging the body’s natural energy channels to flow, thusly “[irrigating] and [nourishing] the tissues and organs.” In scientific terms, acupuncture stimulates the central nervous system to release specific chemicals in the muscles, organs, and brain, which in turn, promote healing and trigger the body to self-regulate itself into healthy, balanced states.

Recent studies conducted in China and Europe have revealed that modern drug therapy, when combined with acupuncture, has a much higher chance of defeating malarial symptoms and effectively driving out the disease, thereby giving the victim a significantly increased survival rate. In several studies, the addition of acupuncture in fact “halted” malaria in such a way that drugs alone could not.

One characteristic that makes acupuncture even more attractive is that it is an inexpensive and “low-tech” option, which is especially valuable to patients in areas where drugs are not readily affordable or available. Additionally, acupuncture therapy may even be preferred over secondary drugs because it does not require additional “substance[s]… to be processed by an already sensitive digestive system.” In other words, administering drugs to a body already ravaged by disease compounds vulnerable states that could render the victim too weakened to successfully combat the disease.

Time is of the essence. By joining with leaders in this global fight and uniting

with organizations and individuals with a passion and vision to see malaria eradicated from every global shore, we hope it’s a battle we will see defeated in our lifetime. Keiko’s Initiative will provide viable, safe, and inexpensive treatments to patients via acupuncture therapy—oftentimes coupled with the use of local herbs, such as cryptolepis sanguinolenta, or Nibima.

We do not assert that acupuncture alone can treat or cure advanced malaria. But we do recognize its efficacy and value in the anti-malarial fight, and are adamant that the use of acupuncture as well as herbs in conjunction with modern drug therapy unequivocally contributes to a quicker and prolonged recovery, thereby giving affected individuals a proper fighting chance in reestablishing the healthy equilibrium that existed before the disease infected their bodies. We firmly believe that it is the closest to a cure we can get today.

Anne Keiko was a bright beacon of light and love to everyone fortunate enough to meet her. Keiko’s Initiative is committed to making sure that light continues to glow even brighter.