Technical and scientific publications
Misdiagnosis of malaria results in significant morbidity and mortality. Rapid, accurate and accessible detection of malaria parasites has an important role in addressing this, and in promoting more rational use of increasingly costly drugs, in many endemic areas. Rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) offer the potential to provide accurate diagnosis to all at-risk populations for the first time, reaching those unable to access good quality microscopy services.
This report from the Communicable Disease-Malaria Program, Area of Health Surveillance and Disease Prevention and Control, Pan American Health Organization is an epidemiological analysis of the situation of malaria in the Americas in 2008.
The World Malaria Report 2012 summarizes information received from 104 malaria-endemic countries and other sources, and updates the analyses presented in the 2011 report. It highlights the progress made towards the global malaria targets set for 2015 and describes current challenges for global malaria control and elimination.
The aim of the elimination phase is to stop local transmission of malaria, in contrast to the control phase, in which the objective is to reduce the number of cases to low levels but not necessarily interrupt local transmission.
WHO. Malaria Rapid Diagnostic Test Performance Results of WHO product testing of malaria RDTs: Round 4. 2012
The World Health Organization estimates that half the world’s population is at risk of malaria, with an estimated 216 million people (range 149–274 million) developing clinical malaria in 2010 (81% in Africa), and 655,000 deaths (range 537,000–907,000) due to malaria (91% in Africa, most being children).
Malaria case management remains a vital component of the malaria control strategies. This entails early diagnosis and prompt treatment with effective antimalarial medicines. The WHO Guidelines for the treatment of malaria, which were first published in 2006, provide global, evidence-based recommendations on the case management of malaria, targeted mainly at policy-makers at country level, providing a framework for the development of specific and more detailed national treatment protocols that take into account local antimalarial drug resistance patterns and health service capacity in the country.
On World Malaria Day 2012, WHO hails global progress in combating malaria but highlights the need to further reinforce the fight. The Global Malaria Programme’s new initiative, T3: Test. Treat. Track, urges malaria-endemic countries and donors to move towards universal access to diagnostic testing and antimalarial treatment, and to build stronger malaria surveillance systems.
WHO. Malaria Rapid Diagnostic Test Performance – Results of WHO product testing of malaria RDTs: Round 3 (2010-2011)
This report is the third in a series of laboratory-based evaluations of malaria RDTs. It provides a comparative measure of RDT performance in a standardized way to distinguish between well and poorly performing tests to inform procurement decisions of malaria control programmes and guide UN procurement policy.
A malaria surveillance system consists of the tools, procedures, people and structures that generate information on malaria cases and deaths, which can be used for planning, monitoring and evaluating malaria control programmes.
WHO. Information note on interim selection criteria procurement - malaria rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs). 2010
In view of the increasing demand of countries to scale-up malaria diagnostics following the large-scale introduction of expensive antimalarial medicines, and the decreasing malaria trends in many countries, there is a need to provide clear guidance on the criteria for selecting malaria diagnostics meeting international quality standards.