Malaria Case Management Dr. Radha Kulkarni mbbs, dtm&H, mph dr. Radha Kulkarni



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Malaria Case Management

  • Dr. Radha Kulkarni MBBS, DTM&H, MPH

Dr. Radha Kulkarni

  • Dr. Radha Kulkarni
  • MBBS, DTM&H, MPH
  • Since 1991 to 2006 has worked in
  • Zimbabwe in malaria endemic areas.
  • Worked as A/Provincial Medical
  • Director, Provincial Epidemiology and
  • Disease Control Officer, Ministry of
  • Health and Child Welfare, Zimbabwe.
  • Has worked as Monitoring and
  • Evaluation Specialist for TB Control
  • Program in The Gambia, West Africa
  • (GFATM ).
  • Has also worked in Islamic Republic
  • of Iran during the revolution and
  • then during the Iran-Iraq war (1977
  • -1988).

Introduction

  • Malaria continues to be a major global health problem, with over 40% of the world’s population – more than 2400 million people – exposed to varying degrees of malaria risk in some 100 countries.
  • Malaria is an important cause of morbidity and mortality in children and adults in tropical countries.
  • Mortality, currently estimated at over a million people per year, has risen in recent years, probably due to increasing resistance to the various anti-malarial medicines.
  • Effective Malaria Control requires an integrated approach comprising of prevention measures including IPT and the use of ITNs, ITMs, LLINs, vector control and early treatment with effective anti-malarials.
  • The affordable and widely available anti-malarial chloroquin that was in the past a mainstay of malaria control is now ineffective in most Falciparum Malaria endemic areas, and resistance to sulfadoxine–pyrimethamine is also increasing rapidly in some of various countries. The discovery and development of the artemisinin derivatives in China, have provided a new class of highly effective antimalarials, and have already transformed the chemotherapy of malaria.
  • Artemisinin-based combination therapies (ACTs) are now generally considered as the best current treatment for uncomplicated Falciparum Malaria.

Malaria - Introduction

  • Malaria is caused by infection of red blood cells with protozoan parasites of
  • the genus Plasmodium.
  • The parasites are inoculated into the human host by a feeding female anopheline mosquito.
  • The four Plasmodium species that infect humans are P. falciparum, P. vivax,
  • P. ovale and P. malariae.
  • The initial symptoms of malaria are nonspecific and similar to the symptoms of a minor systemic viral illness.
  • Symptoms comprise of : headache, lassitude, fatigue, abdominal discomfort and muscle and joint aches, followed by fever, chills, perspiration, anorexia, vomiting and worsening malaise. This is the typical picture of uncomplicated malaria. Residents of endemic areas are often familiar with this combination of symptoms, and frequently self-diagnose.
  • Malaria is therefore frequently over-diagnosed on the basis of symptoms alone. This is often the case during the first month of winter which coincides with influenza outbreaks. Malaria cases reported during this period are also known as “winter malaria”. Low slide positivity rate for malaria during these periods is evidence that these cases could be as a result of over-diagnosis of malaria.

Malaria – Introduction..continued

  • Infection with P. vivax and P. ovale can be associated with well-defined malarial paroxysms, in which fever spikes, chills and rigors occur at regular intervals. At this stage, with no evidence of vital organ dysfunction, the case-fatality rate is low provided prompt and effective treatment is given.
  • On the other hand, if ineffective drugs are given or treatment is delayed in Falciparum malaria, the parasite burden continues to increase and may result in severe malaria. The patient may progress from having minor symptoms to having severe disease within a few hours. This usually manifests with one or more of the following complications: coma (cerebral malaria), metabolic acidosis, severe anemia, hypoglycemia and, in adults, acute renal failure or acute pulmonary edema.
  • At this stage, mortality in people receiving treatment has risen to 15–20%.
  • If untreated, severe malaria is almost always fatal.

Treatment of Uncomplicated Malaria (Objectives)

  • The objective of treating uncomplicated malaria is to cure the infection. This
  • is important as it will help prevent progression to severe disease (complicated
  • malaria) and prevent additional morbidity associated with treatment failure.
  • Cure of the infection means eradication from the body of the infection that caused the illness. In treatment evaluations in all settings, emerging evidence indicates that it is necessary to follow patients for long enough to document cure.
  • The public health goal of treatment is to reduce transmission of the infection to others, i.e. to reduce the infectious reservoir.
  • A secondary but equally important objective of treatment is to prevent the
  • emergence and spread of resistance to anti-malarials. Tolerability, the adverse
  • effect profile and the speed of therapeutic response are also important
  • considerations.

Treatment of Severe Malaria (Objectives)

  • The primary objective of anti-malarial treatment in severe malaria is to prevent death.
  • Prevention of recrudescence and avoidance of minor adverse effects are
  • secondary.
  • In treating cerebral malaria, prevention of neurological deficit is also an important objective.
  • In the treatment of severe malaria in pregnancy, saving the life of the mother is the primary objective.

Clinical Diagnosis of Malaria

  • The signs and symptoms of malaria are nonspecific. Malaria is clinically
  • diagnosed mostly on the basis of fever or history of fever. The following WHO
  • recommendations are still considered valid for clinical diagnosis.
  • • In general, in settings where the risk of malaria is low, clinical diagnosis
  • of uncomplicated malaria should be based on the degree of exposure to
  • malaria and a history of fever in the previous 3 days with no features of other
  • severe diseases.
  • • In settings where the risk of malaria is high, clinical diagnosis should be
  • based on a history of fever in the previous 24 h and/or the presence of
  • anaemia, for which pallor of the palms appears to be the most reliable sign
  • in young children.
  • The WHO/UNICEF strategy for Integrated Management of Childhood Illness
  • (IMCI)has also developed practical algorithms for management of the sick
  • child presenting with fever where there are no facilities for laboratory diagnosis.

Parasitological Diagnosis of Malaria

  • The introduction of ACTs has increased the urgency of improving the
  • specificity of malaria diagnosis. The relatively high cost of these drugs leads to
  • inappropriate utilization of available resources through unnecessary treatment of
  • patients without parasitaemia and thus results to an unsustainable intervention.
  • In addition to cost savings, parasitological diagnosis has the following
  • advantages:
    • Improved patient care in parasite-positive patients owing to greater certainty that the patient has malaria.
    • Identification of parasite-negative patients in whom another diagnosis
    • must be sought.
    • 3. Prevention of unnecessary exposure to anti-malarials, thereby reducing
    • side-effects, drug interactions and selection pressure.
    • 4. Improved health information.
    • 5. Confirmation of treatment failures.

Parasitological Diagnosis … continued

  • The two methods in use for parasitological diagnosis are light microscopy and Rapid Diagnostic Tests (RDTs).
  • Light microscopy has the advantage of low cost and high sensitivity and specificity when used by well trained staff.
  • 2. RDTs for detection of parasite antigen are generally more expensive, but the prices of some of these products have recently decreased to an extent that makes their deployment cost-effective in some settings. Their sensitivity and specificity are variable, and their vulnerability to high temperatures and humidity is an important constraint.
  • Despite these concerns, RDTs make it possible to expand the use of
  • confirmatory diagnosis. Deployment of these tests, as with microscopy, must be
  • accompanied by quality assurance. Practical experience and operational
  • evidence from large-scale implementation are limited and, therefore, their
  • introduction should be carefully monitored and evaluated.
  • The results of parasitological diagnosis should be available within a short time
  • (less than 2 hours) of the patient presenting. If this is not possible the patient
  • must be treated on the basis of a clinical diagnosis.

Examination of slides-Thin

  • Case Management Sub Committee Meeting
  • 24th May 2006

Speciation

  • P.f
  • P.m
  • P.O
  • PV

Gametocytes

  • Case Management Sub Committee Meeting
  • 24th May 2006

Gametocyte

Malaria parasite species identification

  • In areas where two or more species of malaria parasites are common, only a parasitological method will permit a species diagnosis. Where mono-infection with P. vivax is common and microscopy is not available, it is recommended that a combination RDT which contains a pan-malarial antigen is used.
  • Alternatively, RDTs specific for falciparum malaria may be used, and treatment for vivax malaria given only to cases with a negative test result but a high clinical suspicion of malaria. Where P. vivax, P.malariae or P.ovale occur almost always as a co-infection with P. falciparum, an RDT detecting P. falciparum alone is sufficient. Anti-relapse treatment with primaquine should only be given to cases with confirmed diagnosis of vivax malaria.

In epidemics and complex emergencies

  • In epidemic and complex emergency situations,
  • facilities for parasitological diagnosis may be
  • unavailable or inadequate to cope with the case-
  • load. In such circumstances, it is impractical and
  • unnecessary to demonstrate parasites
  • before treatment in all cases of fever. However,
  • there is a role for parasitological diagnosis even
  • in these situations

Impact of resistance to anti-malarials

  • Initially, at low levels of resistance and with a low prevalence of malaria, the
  • impact of resistance to anti-malarials is insidious. The initial symptoms of the
  • infection resolve and the patient appears to be better for some weeks. When
  • symptoms recur, usually more than two weeks later, anaemia may have
  • worsened and there is a greater probability of carrying gametocytes (which
  • in turn carry the resistance genes) and transmitting malaria. However, the
  • patient and the treatment provider may interpret this as a newly acquired
  • infection. At this stage, unless clinical drug trials are conducted, resistance
  • may go unrecognized. As resistance worsens the interval between primary
  • infection and recrudescence shortens, until eventually symptoms fail to
  • resolve following treatment. At this stage, malaria incidence may rise in low
  • transmission settings and mortality is likely to rise in all settings.

Global Distribution Of Resistance

  • Resistance to antimalarials has been documented for P. falciparum, P. vivax and, recently, P. malariae.
  • In P. falciparum, resistance has been observed to almost all currently used
  • antimalarials (amodiaquine, chloroquin, mefloquine, quinine and
  • sulfadoxine–pyrimethamine) except for artemisinin and its derivatives. The geographical distributions and rates of spread have varied considerably.
  • P. vivax has developed resistance rapidly to sulfadoxine–pyrimethamine in many areas. Chloroquin resistance is confined largely to Indonesia, East Timor, Papua New Guinea and other parts of Oceania.
  • P. vivax remains sensitive to chloroquin in South-East Asia, the Indian subcontinent, the Korean peninsula, the Middle East, north-east Africa, and most of South and Central America.

Antimalarial Treatment Policy

  • National antimalarial treatment policies should aim to offer antimalarials that are highly effective.
  • The main determinant of policy change is the therapeutic efficacy and the consequent effectiveness of the antimalarial in use.
  • Other important determinants include:
  • Changing patterns of malaria-associated morbidity and mortality;
  • Consumer and provider dissatisfaction with the current policy; and
  • The availability of new products, strategies and approaches.

Treatment Of Uncomplicated P. Falciparum Malaria

  • Assessment
  • Uncomplicated malaria is defined as symptomatic malaria without
  • signs of severity or evidence of vital organ dysfunction. In acute
  • falciparum malaria there is a continuum from mild to severe malaria.
  • Young children and non-immune adults with malaria may deteriorate
  • rapidly. In practice, any patient whom the attending physician or
  • health care worker suspects of having severe malaria should be
  • treated as such initially. The risks of under-treating severe malaria
  • considerably exceed those of giving parenteral or rectal treatment to a
  • patient who does not need it.

Antimalarial Combination Therapy and Definition

  • Antimalarial Combination Therapy
  • To counter the threat of resistance of P. falciparum to monotherapies, and to improve
  • treatment outcome, combinations of antimalarials are now recommended by WHO for
  • the treatment of falciparum malaria.
  • Definition
  • Antimalarial combination therapy is the simultaneous use of two or more
  • blood schizontocidal drugs with independent modes of action and thus
  • unrelated biochemical targets in the parasite. The concept is based on the
  • potential of two or more simultaneously administered schizontocidal drugs
  • with independent modes of action to improve therapeutic efficacy and also to
  • delay the development of resistance to the individual components of the
  • combination.

Rationale For Anti-malarial Combination Therapy

  • The rationale for combining anti-malarials with different modes of action is twofold:
  • (1) The combination is often more effective; and
  • (2) In the rare event that a mutant parasite that is resistant to one of the drugs arises de novo during the course of the infection, the parasite will be killed by the other drug. This mutual protection is thought to prevent or delay the emergence of resistance.
  • To realize the two advantages, the partner drugs in a combination must be independently effective.
  • The possible disadvantages of combination treatments are the potential for increased risk of adverse effects and the increased cost.

Artemisinin-based Combination Therapy (ACT)

  • Artemisinin and its derivatives (artesunate, artemether, artemotil,
  • dihydroartemisinin) produce rapid clearance of parasitaemia and rapid
  • resolution of symptoms. They reduce parasite numbers by a factor of
  • approximately 10 000 in each asexual cycle, which is more than other current
  • antimalarials (which reduce parasite numbers 100- to 1000-fold per
  • cycle).
  • Artemisinin and its derivatives are eliminated rapidly. When given in
  • combination with rapidly eliminated compounds (tetracyclines, clindamycin),
  • a 7-day course of treatment with an artemisinin compound is required; but
  • when given in combination with slowly eliminated antimalarials, shorter
  • courses of treatment (3 days) are effective. The evidence of their superiority
  • in comparison to monotherapies has been clearly documented.

Non-Artemisinin based Combination Therapy

  • Non-artemisinin based combinations (non-ACTs) include:-
  • sulfadoxine–pyrimethamine with chloroquine (SP+CQ) or
  • amodiaquine (SP+AQ).
  • However, the prevailing high levels of resistance have
  • compromised the efficacy of these combinations. There is no
  • convincing evidence that SP+CQ provides any additional
  • benefit over SP, so this combination is not recommended;
  • SP+AQ can be more effective than either drug alone, but
  • needs to be considered in the light of comparison with
  • ACTs.

ACTs Currently Recommended

  • The following ACTs are currently recommended (alphabetical order):
  • • artemether-lumefantrine,
  • • artesunate + amodiaquine,
  • • artesunate + mefloquine,
  • • artesunate + sulfadoxine–pyrimethamine.
  • Note: amodiaquine + sulfadoxine–pyrimethamine may be considered as an interim option where ACTs cannot be made available, provided that efficacy of both is high.

Recommended Second-line Anti-malarial Treatments

  • On the basis of the evidence from current practice and the consensus opinion of the Guidelines Development Group, the following second-line treatments are recommended, in order of preference:
  • Alternative ACT known to be effective in the region,
  • Artesunate + tetracycline or doxycycline or clindamycin,
  • Quinine + tetracycline or doxycycline or clindamycin.
  • The alternative ACT has the advantages of simplicity, and where available, co-formulation to improve adherence. The 7-day quinine regimes are not well tolerated and adherence is likely to be poor if treatment is not observed.

Treatment In Specific Populations And Situations

  • Pregnant Women:
  • Recommendations
  • First trimester: quinine + clindamycin to be given for 7 days.
  • ACT should be used if it is the only effective treatment available.
  • Second and third trimesters: ACT known to be effective in the
  • country/region or artesunate + clindamycin to be given for 7 days
  • or quinine + clindamycin to be given for 7 days.

Treatment In Specific Populations And Situations

  • Lactating Women:
  • Lactating women should receive standard anti-malarial
  • treatment (including ACTs) except for tetracyclines and
  • dapsone, which should be withheld during lactation.

Treatment In Specific Populations And Situations

  • Treatment of uncomplicated falciparum malaria in infants and young children
  • The acutely ill child requires careful clinical monitoring as they may deteriorate rapidly.
  • ACTs should be used as first-line treatment for infants and young children.
  • Referral to a health centre or hospital is indicated for young children who cannot swallow anti-malarials reliably.

Treatment Of Uncomplicated Falciparum Malaria In Patients With HIV Infection

  • Patients with HIV infection who develop malaria should receive standard anti-malarial treatment regimens as recommended.
  • Treatment or intermittent preventive treatment with sulfadoxinepyrimethamine should not be given to HIV-infected patients receiving cotrimoxazole (trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole) prophylaxis.

Severe Falciparum Malaria

  • A patient with severe Falciparum Malaria may present with confusion, or drowsiness
  • with extreme weakness (prostration).
  • In addition, the following may develop:
  • 1. Cerebral malaria, defined as unrousable coma not attributable to any other cause in
  • a patient with Falciparum malaria.
  • 2. Generalized convulsions.
  • 3. Severe normocytic anaemia.
  • 4. Hypoglycaemia.
  • 5. Metabolic acidosis with respiratory distress.
  • 6. Fluid and electrolyte disturbances.
  • 7. Acute renal failure.
  • 8. Acute pulmonary oedema and adult respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS).
  • 9. Circulatory collapse, shock, septicaemia (“algid malaria”).
  • 10.Abnormal bleeding.
  • 11. Jaundice.
  • 12. Haemoglobinuria.
  • 13. High fever.(Hyperpyrexia)
  • 14. Hyperparasitaemia.
  • Important: These severe manifestations can occur singly or, more commonly, in
  • combination in the same patient.

Recommendations For Management Of Severe Malaria

  • Severe malaria is a medical emergency. After rapid clinical assessment and
  • confirmation of the diagnosis, full doses of parenteral antimalarial treatment should
  • be started without delay with whichever effective antimalarial is first available.
  • Artesunate 2.4 mg/kg bw i.v. or i.m. given on admission (time = 0), then at 12 h and 24 h, then once a day is the recommended choice in low transmission areas or outside malaria endemic areas
  • 2. For children in high transmission areas, the following antimalarial medicines are recommended as there is insufficient evidence to recommend any of these antimalarial medicines over another for severe malaria:
  • – artesunate 2.4 mg/kg bw i.v. or i.m. given on admission (time = 0), then at 12 h and 24 h,then once a day;
  • – artemether 3.2 mg/kg bw i.m. given on admission then 1.6 mg/kg bw per day;
  • – quinine 20 mg salt/kg bw on admission (i.v. infusion or divided i.m. injection), then 10 mg/kg bw every 8 h; infusion rate should not exceed 5 mg salt/kg bw per hour.

Treatment Of Malaria Caused By P. Vivax, P. Ovale Or P. Malariae

  • P. vivax, the second most important species causing human malaria, accounts for
  • about 40% of malaria cases worldwide . It is prevalent in endemic areas in the Middle
  • East, Asia, Oceania and Central and South America. In most areas where P. vivax is
  • prevalent, malaria transmission rates are low, and the affected populations therefore
  • achieve little immunity to this parasite. Consequently, people of all ages are at risk.
  • The other two human malaria parasite species P. malariae and P. ovale are generally
  • less prevalent but are distributed worldwide especially in the tropical areas of Africa.
  • Among the four species of Plasmodium that affect humans, only P. vivax and P. ovale
  • form hypnozoites, parasite stages in the liver that can result in multiple relapses of
  • infection, weeks to months after the primary infection. Thus a single infection causes
  • repeated bouts of illness. This affects the development and schooling of children and
  • debilitates adults, thereby impairing human and economic development in affected
  • populations. The objective of treating malaria caused by P. vivax and P. ovale is to cure
  • both the blood stage and the liver stage infections, and thereby prevent both relapse
  • and recrudescence. This is called radical cure.

Diagnosis Of P. Vivax Malaria

  • Diagnosis of P. vivax malaria is based on
  • microscopy.
  • Although rapid diagnostic tests based on
  • immunochromatographic methods are available for
  • the detection of non-falciparum malaria, their
  • sensitivities below parasite densities of 500/μl are
  • low. Their high cost is an impediment to their
  • widespread use in endemic areas.

Recommendations On The Treatment Of Uncomplicated Vivax Malaria

  • Chloroquine 25 mg base/kg bw divided over 3 days, combined with primaquine 0.25 mg base/kg bw, taken with food once daily for 14 days is the treatment of choice for chloroquine-sensitive infections. In Oceania and South-East Asia the dose of primaquine should be 0.5 mg/kg bw.
  • Amodiaquine (30 mg base/kg bw divided over 3 days as 10 mg/kg bw single daily doses) combined with primaquine should be given for chloroquine-resistant vivax malaria.
  • In moderate G6PD deficiency, primaquine 0.75 mg base/kg bw should be given once a week for 8 weeks. In severe G6PD deficiency, primaquine should not be given.
  • Where ACT has been adopted as the first-line treatment for P. falciparum malaria, it may also be used for P. vivax malaria in combination with primaquine for radical cure. Artesunate +sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine is the exception as it will not be
  • effective against P. vivax in many places.

Treatment of Severe Vivax Malaria

  • P. Vivax malaria is considered to be a benign malaria, with a very low
  • case-fatality ratio, it may still cause a severe and debilitating febrile illness.
  • It can also very occasionally result in severe disease as in falciparum malaria.
  • Severe Vivax malaria manifestations that have been reported are:
  • Cerebral malaria
  • Severe anaemia
  • Severe thrombocytopenia
  • Pancytopenia
  • Jaundice,
  • Spleen rupture
  • Acute renal failure
  • Acute respiratory distress syndrome.
  • Severe anaemia and acute pulmonary oedema are not uncommon.
  • The underlying mechanisms of severe manifestations are not well understood.
  • Prompt and effective treatment and case management should be the same as
  • for severe and complicated falciparum malaria

Treatment Of Malaria Caused By P. Ovale And P. Malariae

  • P. ovale and P. malariae to antimalarials infections caused by these
  • two species are considered to be generally sensitive to chloroquin.
  • P. malariae should be treated with the standard regimen of chloroquin
  • as for vivax malaria, but it does not require radical cure with
  • primaquine as no hypnozoites are formed in infection with this
  • species.
  • P.ovale mainly occurs in areas of high stable transmission where the
  • risk of re-infection is high. In such settings, primaquine treatment is
  • not indicated.

Mixed Malaria Infections

  • Mixed malaria infections are common. Mixed infections are underestimated by routine microscopy.
  • Cryptic P. falciparum infections can be revealed in approximately 75% of cases by the RDTs based on the histidine-rich protein 2 (HRP2) antigen, but such antigen tests are much less useful (because of their lower sensitivity) in detecting cryptic vivax malaria.
  • ACTs are effective against all malaria species and are the treatment of choice.
  • Radical treatment with primaquine should be given to patients with
  • confirmed P. vivax and P. ovale infections except in high transmission settings where the risk of re-infection is high.

Complex Emergencies And Epidemics

  • When large numbers of people are displaced within malaria endemic areas
  • there is an increased risk of a malaria epidemic, especially when people living
  • in an area with little or no malaria transmission move to an endemic area
  • (e.g. displacement from highland to lowland areas).
  • The lack of protective immunity, concentration of population, breakdown in
  • public health activities and difficulties in accessing insecticides, insecticide
  • treated nets and effective treatment, all conspire to fuel epidemic malaria, in
  • which morbidity and mortality are often high.
  • Such circumstances are also ideal for the development of resistance to
  • antimalarials.
  • For these reasons, particular efforts must be made to deliver effective antimalarial
  • treatment to the population at risk.

Diagnosis In Epidemic And Complex Emergency Situations

  • In epidemic and complex emergency situations, facilities for laboratory
  • diagnosis may be either unavailable or so overwhelmed with the case-load that
  • parasite-based diagnosis is impossible. In such circumstances, it is impractical
  • and unnecessary to demonstrate parasites before treatment in all cases of fever.
  • Once an epidemic of malaria has been confirmed, and if case numbers are high,
  • treatment is based solely on the clinical history is appropriate in most cases, using
  • a full treatment course. However, parasite-based diagnosis is essential to:
  • Diagnose the cause of an epidemic of febrile illness,
  • Monitor and confirm the end of an epidemic,
  • Follow progress in infants, pregnant women, and those with severe malaria.
  • As the epidemic wanes, the proportion of fever cases investigated
  • parasitologically can be increased. It is important to monitor the clinical response
  • to treatment wherever possible, bearing in mind that other infections may also
  • be present. In mixed falciparum/vivax epidemics, parasitaemia should be
  • monitored in order to determine a species-specific treatment.

Use Of Rapid Diagnostic Tests In Epidemic Situations

  • RDTs offer the advantage of simplicity and speed in epidemic
  • situations, but heat stability may be a problem and false-
  • negative results may be seen.
  • A negative result should not automatically preclude treatment, especially in severe clinical disease.
  • Current experience with RDTs indicates that they are
  • useful for confirming the cause and end-point of malaria
  • epidemics, but they should not be relied on as the sole basis for
  • treatment.
  • They should also be backed up with adequate quality assurance, including temperature stability testing.

Management Of Uncomplicated Malaria In Epidemics

  • Malaria epidemics are emergencies in which populations at risk in epidemic
  • prone areas are mainly non-immune or only partially immune. The principles
  • of treatment are the same as elsewhere
  • The antimalarial to be used in epidemics (and complex emergencies) must be
  • highly efficacious (≥95% cure), safe and well tolerated so that adherence to
  • treatment is high.
  • 2. Complete courses of treatment should always be given in all circumstances.
  • The rapid and reliable antimalarial effects of ACTs and their gametocytocidal
  • properties, which reduce transmission, make them ideal for treatment in a
  • malaria epidemic.
  • An active search should be made for febrile patients to ensure that, as many
  • cases as possible are treated, rather than relying on patients to come to a
  • clinic.

Recommendations On Treatment Of Uncomplicated Malaria In Epidemic Situations

  • ACTs are recommended for anti-malarial treatment in epidemics in
  • all areas with the exception of countries in Central America and the
  • Island of Hispaniola, where chloroquine and sulfadoxinepyrimethamine
  • still have a very high efficacy against Falciparum Malaria.
  • Chloroquin 25 mg base/kg bw divided over 3 days,
  • combined with primaquine 0.25 mg base/kg bw, taken with food
  • once a day for 14 days is the treatment of choice for chloroquin sensitive
  • P. vivax infections. In Oceania and South-East Asia the dose
  • of primaquine should be 0.5 mg/kg bw.
  • In situations where ACTs are not immediately available, the most
  • effective alternative should be used until ACTs become available.

Areas Prone To Mixed Falciparum/Vivax Malaria Epidemics

  • Resistance of P. vivax to chloroquine has been reported from South-East Asia and Oceania but is probably limited in distribution.
  • ACTs (except artesunate + sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine)
  • should be used for treatment as they are highly effective against all malaria species.
  • In areas with pure vivax epidemics, and where drug resistance has not been reported, chloroquin is the most appropriate drug once the cause of the epidemic has been established.

Use Of Gameto-cytocidal Drugs To Reduce Transmission

  • ACTs reduce gametocyte carriage markedly, and therefore reduce transmission.
  • This is very valuable in epidemic control.
  • In circumstances where an ACT is not used, a single oral dose of primaquine of
  • 0.75 mg base/kg bw (45 mg base maximal for adults) combined with a fully
  • effective blood schizonticide could be used to reduce transmission provided
  • that it is possible to achieve high coverage (>85%) of the population infected with malaria. This strategy has been widely used in South-East Asia and South
  • America, although its impact has not been well documented. The single
  • primaquine dose was well tolerated and prior testing for G6PD deficiency was not required.
  • There is no experience with its use in Africa, where there is the highest prevalence of G6PD deficiency in the world. Primaquine should not be given in pregnancy.

Mass Treatment

  • Mass treatment (mass drug administration) of all or a large section of the population (whether symptoms are present or not) has been carried out in the past, usually in conjunction with insecticide residual spraying, as a way of controlling epidemics. Analysis of mass drug administration projects during the period 1932–1999 did not draw definitive conclusions . Many projects were unsuccessful, although a reduction in parasite prevalence and some transient reduction in mortality and morbidity occurred in some cases. Reduced transmission was seen only in one study, in Vanuatu, where the population concerned was relatively small, well defined and controlled.
  • There is no convincing evidence for the benefits of mass treatment.
  • Mass treatment of symptomatic febrile patients is considered appropriate in epidemic and complex emergency situations. Whenever this strategy is adopted, a full treatment course should be given.

References Used For The Purpose Of This Presentation

  • WHO Guidelines For The Treatment Of Malaria. WHO/HTM/MAL/2006.1108.
  • Management Of Severe Malaria -A Practical Handbook -Second edition.


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