The role of standby emergency medication for falciparum malaria: current opinion.
Bannister B., Hatz C., Toovey S., Price R., Zuckerman JN.
Travellers to malaria-endemic destinations are at risk of significant disease and, sometimes, death. Current malaria protection strategies, including chemoprophylaxis, can never be completely effective. In some cases, protective measures are discontinued or misapplied while the risk of infection still exists. In others, suboptimal measures are used, or even no measures at all, because of poor information or inappropriate risk-benefit assessment. In very rare cases, inexplicable failure of prophylaxis occurs. If malaria is contracted whilst abroad the danger to the individual is often further compounded by a lack of high-quality medical facilities and an uncertain supply of effective drugs for treatment. The advent of newer, well tolerated, drugs for treating malaria provides an opportunity to review the role of standby emergency self-medication in travellers visiting or staying (for work or other reasons) in areas where there is a risk of contracting malaria. This article was prepared following a meeting convened in London on Africa Malaria Day in 2002, in which the current opinions of experts in travel medicine and specifically malaria were discussed. It reviews opinion on the current effectiveness and acceptance of prevention strategies, as well as the role of standby emergency medication for falciparum malaria.