31 Jan 2019

Updated guidelines for malaria prevention in travellers from the UK: 2018

Public Health England (PHE) Advisory Committee on Malaria Prevention (ACMP) has published updated malaria guidelines Updated guidelines for malaria prevention in travellers from the UK: 2018

After the revision of country recommendations in the 2017 guidelines, fewer changes were necessary for this 2018 publication. 

Changes to the 2018 guidelines include the following:

  • The manufacturer's update to the Summary of Product Characteristics for mefloquine adding insomnia to the list of psychiatric symptoms that must be regarded as prodromal for a more serious event.
  • Additional information concerning atovaquone-proguanil and the use in pregnancy when there is no alternative appropriate antimalarial option 
  • Update of country recommendations for Paraguay.
  • Temporary recommendations for Bangladesh, Cape Verde and South Africa previously issued since the last publication in 2017.

All the country specific updates are available on the individual NaTHNaC Country Information pages.

The malaria guidelines are a practical resource for health professionals who advise travellers and may also be of use to travellers who wish to read about the options themselves. The document contains country recommendations for malaria prevention, advice for travellers with special risks such as pregnant women and children, and a frequently asked questions section. 

It is essential that health professionals advising travellers on malaria prevention familiarise themselves with the new ACMP malaria guidelines in their entirety.

Health professionals are reminded that a stringent individual risk assessment should be undertaken during the travel health consultation; recommendations for antimalarials should be appropriate for the destination and tailored to the individual, taking into account possible risks and benefits to the traveller.

ACMP, NaTHNaC, and PHE recommend that health professionals stick to using one resource for country specific malaria recommendations to optimise consistency of advice. While acknowledging that other sources of advice are available, healthcare professionals working in England, Wales or Northern Ireland are advised to use the ACMP guidelines as their preferred source of guidance for malaria prevention.

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