Diagnosis and Treatment
Prompt and accurate diagnosis of malaria is part of effective disease management and will, if implemented effectively, help reduce unnecessary use of antimalarial medicines. The two diagnostic approaches currently used are based on
1. the symptoms and signs of the disease - i.e. a clinical diagnosis and
2. detection of the causative parasite or its product(s).
Once diagnosed as malaria the patient should be treated early with safe and effective medicine (The goal of the Roll Back Malaria Partnership in this context is to assure effective treatment within 24 hours of the onset of symptoms). This is because a delay in treatment of uncomplicated malaria, especially in the non-immune patient could result in progression to severe disease which is associated with a high case fatality rate.
Malaria is a treatable but complex disease. Parasitic resistance has grown throughout sub-Saharan Africa to chloroquine and sulfadoxine-pyremethamine, leading to treatment failure against P. falciparum malaria, the deadliest form of the disease. Today Artemisinin-based Combination Therapies are the most effective for treating uncomplicated malaria.