The World Health Organisation (WHO) has just published a revised edition of its Management of Severe Malaria: a Practical Handbook, which updates the recommendations for the diagnosis and treatment of the most severe forms of this disease. CRESIB, ISGlobal's research centre, participated in the preparation of this new edition.
The handbook is an indispensable tool for health professionals working in malaria-endemic countries. It will also be useful to doctors in countries where the disease has been eliminated who, in their clinical practice, attend patients infected with malaria while travelling abroad. Some 300 cases of malaria contracted abroad are treated every year in Spanish hospitals, for example.
Although a highly curable disease, malaria can be fatal if the patient does not receive the appropriate treatment promptly. In 2010 alone, an estimated 655,000 people died as a result of malaria, mainly children under five years of age and pregnant women.
One of the responsibilities of the WHO, the agency that publishes the handbook, is to recommend health policies for the world's most serious diseases, including malaria. The WHO is the principal provider of technical support in public health care to many countries. The new edition updates the recommendations for the treatment of the most severe cases of malaria and includes some important changes with respect to the drugs recommended in such cases. The handbook was prepared by an expert committee, which based its recommendations on the latest scientific evidence. CRESIB researcher, Quique Bassat, was one of the members of this committee.
The complete text of the handbook is available for download here