New malaria treatment guidelines

The World Health Organization released the second edition of its guidelines for the treatment of malaria. There are two major changes from the previous 2006 version:

1) All cases should be parasitologically confirmed prior to treatment. Presumptive treatment is no longer encouraged. While many areas do not yet have the capacity to do so, the unequivocal recommendation from WHO should help realize universal testing.

2) Dihydroartemisinin+piperaquine has been added as one of five recommended artemisinin combination therapies.

These guidelines are WHO at its best – collecting and synthesizing worldwide evidence in order to provide its members with clear guidance for a complex public health need.

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