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WHO launches consolidated guidelines for malaria

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The WHO Malaria Guidelines, released today, bring together the most up-to-date recommendations from the Malaria Organization in one easy-to-use and easy-to-navigate online platform (http://bit.ly/3bg8bmF). They are designed to assist malaria-affected countries in their efforts to reduce and ultimately eliminate a disease that continues to claim more than 400,000 lives each year.

Through the new platform, MAGICapp, users will find:

  • All official WHO recommendations for malaria prevention (vector control and preventive chemotherapies) and case management (diagnosis and treatment). Recommendations for removal settings are under development.

  • Links to other resources, such as guidance on the strategic use of information to drive impact; surveillance, monitoring and evaluation; operating manuals, manuals and frameworks; and a glossary of key terms and definitions.

Users can access the evidence supporting each WHO recommendation through the new web-based platform. There is a comments tab to help identify recommendations that may need an update or further clarification, and input from interested parties is also welcome via email (gmpfeedback@who.int).

Provide timely and evidence-based guidance

“These consolidated guidelines represent an important step in our efforts to provide timely and evidence-based guidance to malaria endemic countries,” said Dr. Pedro Alonso, Director of the WHO Global Malaria Program. “They will soon become a living resource that will be updated periodically as new evidence becomes available and as WHO guideline development groups submit proposals for new or revised recommendations,” he added.

The first version of the Malaria Guidelines, available online only, is a compilation of existing WHO recommendations on malaria and supersedes two previous WHO publications: the Guidelines for the Treatment of Malaria, Third Edition and the Guidelines for malaria vector control. Four WHO guideline development groups focused on vector control, chemoprevention, treatment and elimination are currently meeting to develop new or updated recommendations, and other groups will meet this year to address additional relevant topics.

Malaria recommendations will continue to be reviewed and, where appropriate, updated based on the latest available evidence through WHO’s rigorous and transparent guideline review process (http://bit.ly/3pqYcjk). Any updated recommendation will always show the date of the most recent revision on the MAGICapp platform. With each update, a new PDF version of the consolidated guidelines will also be available for download on the WHO website (http://bit.ly/3puYk1c).

Clear, evidence-based WHO recommendations guide managers of national malaria programs as they develop policies and strategic plans to combat the disease tailored to the local context; they support decisions about “what to do”. WHO also develops implementation guides, such as field and operational manuals, to advise countries on “how” to implement the recommended tools and strategies.

The consolidation of the WHO guidelines against malaria is one of the steps that the Organization has undertaken in recent years to make its guidelines more accessible to end users in malaria endemic countries. The overall goal is to deliver high-quality, timely recommendations through processes that are more transparent, consistent, efficient, and predictable.

Key definitions

A WHO guide is broadly defined as any information product developed by WHO that contains recommendations for clinical practice or public health policy.

A recommendation tells the intended end user of a guide what they can or should do in specific situations to achieve the best possible health outcomes, individually or collectively. It offers a choice between different interventions or measures that have an anticipated positive impact on health and implications for the use of resources.

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