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International scientists say they have found the first evidence of resistance to the world's most effective drug for treating malaria.
They say the trend in western Cambodia has to be urgently contained because full-blown resistance would be a global health catastrophe.
Drugs are taking longer to clear blood of malaria parasites than before.
This is an early warning sign of emerging resistance to a disease which kills a million people every year.
Two teams of scientists, working on separate clinical trials, have reported seeing the disturbing evidence that the drugs are becoming much less effective.
There is particular concern because previous generations of malaria drugs have been undermined by resistance which started in this way, in this part of the world, our correspondent reports.