Guidelines for the treatment of malaria. Third edition
Malaria case management, which consists of prompt diagnosis and effective treatment, remains a vital component of malaria control and elimination strategies. This third edition of the WHO Guidelines for the treatment of malaria contains updated recommendations based on new evidence as well as a recommendation on the use of drugs to prevent malaria in high-risk groups.
The core principles underpinning this edition include: early diagnosis and prompt, effective treatment; rational use of antimalarial treatment to ensure that only confirmed malaria cases receive antimalarials; the use of combination therapy in preventing or delaying development of resistance; and appropriate weight-based dosing of antimalarials to ensure prolonged useful therapeutic life and an equal chance of being cured for all patients.
The Guidelines include recommendations on the diagnosis and treatment of uncomplicated and severe malaria by all species, including in special at-risk populations (such as young children, pregnant women, TB or HIV/AIDS patients and non-immune travellers) and situations (such as epidemics and humanitarian emergencies), and on the use of drugs to prevent malaria in groups at high risk. They aim:
- to assist policy-makers to design and refine effective national treatment policies on the basis of the best available evidence;
- to help hospital and clinical care providers to design and refine effective treatment protocols on the basis of the best available evidence;
- to promote the use of safe, effective malaria treatment; and
- to protect currently effective malaria treatment against the development of resistance.
The recommendations in the main document are brief. For those who wish to study the evidence base in more detail, a series of annexes are provided with references to the appropriate sections of the main document.
Related policy recommendations
- WHO policy brief for the implementation of intermittent preventive treatment of malaria in pregnancy using sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine (IPTp-SP) (Apr. 2013, rev. January 2014)
- WHO policy recommendation on seasonal malaria chemoprevention (SMC) for Plasmodium falciparum malaria control in highly seasonal transmission areas of the Sahel sub-region in Africa (March 2012)
- WHO policy recommendation on Intermittent Preventive Treatment during infancy with sulphadoxine-pyrimethamine (SP-IPTi) for Plasmodium falciparum malaria control in Africa (March 2010)
Other key documents
- Information note on delayed haemolytic anaemia following treatment with artesunate (2013)
- Management of severe malaria – A practical handbook. Third edition (April 2013)
- Updated policy recommendation on single dose primaquine as a gametocytocide in Plasmodium falciparum malaria (October 2012)
- WHO Position statement on the effectiveness of non-pharmaceutical forms of Artemisia annua L. against malaria (June 2012)
- T3: Test. Treat. Track. Scaling up diagnostic testing, treatment and surveillance for malaria (April 2012)
- Intermittent preventive treatment for infants using sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine (SP-IPTi) for malaria control in Africa: implementation field guide (September 2011)
- Universal access to malaria diagnostic testing – An operational manual (Sep. 2011, rev. February 2013)