8.1  Treatment of uncomplicated malaria

In Study Session 7 you learned the different methods for diagnosing malaria and how the clinical diagnosis and Rapid Diagnostic Test (RDT) methods are applied at the Health Post level. In this section you will learn about the treatment of uncomplicated (non-severe) malaria cases.

In order to prescribe an anti-malaria treatment for malaria-suspected fever cases, you should make a confirmed diagnosis using a multi-species RDT. This is an RDT that can test for different species of the malaria parasite. However, if you do not have this RDT at your Health Post, you can still make a malaria diagnosis based on the patient’s history and based on findings of physical examination. The summary of the steps you follow to make a diagnosis and prescribe treatment for malaria is indicated in Box 8.1 below.

Box 8.1  Steps to follow to treat malaria cases

  • Take history of the patient, including history of travel to malarious areas. Take enough time to pay proper attention to what the patient has to say.
  • Do a physical examination, measure temperature, blood pressure and count the pulse rate.
  • Consider if there is another obvious cause of fever other than malaria.
  • Test for malaria parasites using multi-species RDTs (if you have the test kits and have been trained to use them).
  • Treat the patient based on the result of the RDT.
  • If you do not have RDTs in your Health Post, diagnose malaria based on the clinical findings from the patient’s history and the physical examination.

In the next section you will learn the course of action to take when you use either an RDT, or clinical diagnosis, to determine the treatment of malaria. Carefully note the slight differences between the two approaches.

Learning Outcomes for Study Session 8

8.1.1  Treatment of uncomplicated malaria based on RDT confirmation