A doctor at the Tana River health clinic in Kenya is diagnosing and treating a child that has malaria.
Sarah Hoibak/MENTOR

Malaria is an entirely preventable and treatable disease. The primary objective of treatment is to ensure a rapid and complete elimination of the Plasmodium parasite from the patient’s blood in order to prevent progression of uncomplicated malaria to severe disease or death, and to chronic infection that leads to malaria-related anaemia. From a public health perspective, treatment is meant to reduce transmission of the infection to others, by reducing the infectious reservoir and to prevent the emergence and spread of resistance to antimalarial medicines.

Overview of malaria treatment

This section summarizes recommended policies for malaria treatment, and lists all key WHO guidance documents.

Selection of safe and effective quality antimalarial medicines

WHO provides guidance on the procurement of antimalarial medicines and evaluates the quality of pharmaceutical products.

Drug policies in all WHO Regions

WHO maintains a list of medicines that are used as first-line treatment in endemic countries for uncomplicated and severe malaria, as well as for prevention and treatment during pregnancy.

Antimalarial drug efficacy

Efficacious antimalarials are critical to malaria control, and continuous efficacy monitoring is needed to inform treatment policies and to ensure early detection of drug resistance.

Withdrawal of oral artemisinin-based monotherapies

The continued use of oral artemisinin-based monotherapies is a major contributing factor to the development of resistance to artemisinin and its derivatives.

ACT and RDT procurement and supply chain management

Procurement and supply chain management is a multi-stage process that ensures that products of the right quality, dosage and price are delivered to end users at the right time.

Key publications

World Malaria Report 2014

This report contains the latest available data on malaria policies, interventions and trends in all endemic countries.

Contact us

Global Malaria Programme
World Health Organization
20 Avenue Appia
1211 Geneva 27
Tel: +41 22 791 2533
Fax: +41 22 791 4824