South Africa has played a leading role in the control of malaria for almost a century and has dramatically reduced its burden of malaria since 2000. This has paved the way for our commitment to eliminate malaria.
However, this success brings its own challenges, including the fact that the majority of malaria cases in South Africa are now imported (i.e. not locally transmitted), and often present late and to health facilities in malaria-free areas. Thus, health professionals throughout South Africa, in both the malaria-endemic and malaria-free areas, all need to develop and maintain their knowledge and skills in malaria diagnosis and treatment.
These guidelines are based on the 2015 World Health Organization’s Guidelines for the treatment of malaria. Additional literature surveys have been undertaken. Factors that were considered in the choice of therapeutic options included effectiveness, safety, and impact on malaria transmission and on the emergence and spread of antimalarial drug resistance. On-going surveillance is critical given the spread of artemisinin resistance in Southeast Asia, although not yet confirmed anywhere in Africa.
The guidelines on the treatment of malaria in South Africa that aim to facilitate effective, appropriate and timeous treatment of malaria, thereby reducing the burden of this disease in our communities. This is essential to further bring down the malaria case fatality rates currently recorded in South Africa, to decrease malaria transmission and to limit resistance to antimalarial drugs.