Severe Plasmodium falciparum malaria in refugee children despite reported predeparture antimalarial treatment

Sarah Cherian, Joanna M Fagan, Aesen Thambiran, Janet Geddes and David Burgner
Med J Aust 2006; 185 (11): . || doi: 10.5694/j.1326-5377.2006.tb00728.x
Published online: 4 December 2006

To the Editor: Predeparture screening and treatment for Plasmodium falciparum malaria is increasingly administered to humanitarian refugees from malaria-endemic areas immediately before resettlement in Australia. It is undertaken by the International Organization for Migration (IOM), under contract from the Department of Immigration and Multicultural Affairs (DIMA).1 Combination therapy (usually an artemisinin derivative in combination with another drug, or chloroquine) is used for both adults and children. The first dose (of what is usually a 3–5-dose treatment course) is supervised, and written documentation of the treatment should accompany the refugee to Australia.1 Giving predeparture antimalarial treatment has the potential benefit of reducing the incidence of malaria after arrival, as well as reducing the risk of local transmission in malaria-receptive areas of Australia.

  • Sarah Cherian1,2
  • Joanna M Fagan3
  • Aesen Thambiran3
  • Janet Geddes2
  • David Burgner1,2

  • 1 School of Paediatrics and Child Health, University of Western Australia, Perth, WA.
  • 2 Princess Margaret Hospital for Children, Perth, WA.
  • 3 Migrant Health Unit, North Metropolitan Area Health Service, Perth, WA.



We thank Dr Ronan Murray for his helpful advice and input into this manuscript.


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