Intended for healthcare professionals


Malaria treatment should begin with parasitological diagnosis where possible, says WHO

BMJ 2010; 340 doi: (Published 09 March 2010) Cite this as: BMJ 2010;340:c1402
  1. John Zarocostas

    A1 Geneva

    New guidance on the treatment of malaria released by the World Health Organization on 9 March recommends parasitological testing before treatment begins and adds a new artemisinin based combination treatment to the list of prescribed drugs.

    The new guidelines are expected to enhance earlier and accurate diagnosis, halt the emergence of drug resistance, and reduce the use of unnecessary treatment.

    Each year sees nearly 250 million cases of malaria and 860 000 deaths. About 85% of these deaths are of children, and most occur in Africa, says WHO.

    The agency also released its first ever guidelines for good practice in the procurement and purchase of antimalarials. The guidelines are based on evidence of efficacy and safety and meet international standards.

    “Prompt parasitological confirmation by microscopy or alternatively by RDTs [rapid diagnostic tests] is …

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