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WHO inaugurates consolidated guidelines for malaria

The World Health Organisation (WHO), on Tuesday inaugurated Guidelines for malaria,  bringing together the organisation’s most up-to-date recommendations for malaria in one user-friendly and easy-to-navigate online platform.

WHO announced the inauguration of the Guidelines in a statement issued from its headquarters in Geneva.

According to the UN health agency, they are designed to support malaria-affected countries in their efforts to reduce and, ultimately, eliminate a disease that continues to claim more than 400, 000 lives each year.

The statement stated that through the new platform, MAGICapp, users would find all official WHO recommendations for malaria prevention (vector control and preventive chemotherapies) and case management (diagnosis and treatment).

It stated that recommendations for elimination settings were in development.

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

“Users can access the evidence that underpins each WHO recommendation through the new web-based platform.

“There is a feedback tab to help identify recommendations that may need an update or further clarification, and inputs from stakeholders are also welcome by email (gmpfeedback@who.int).’’

The statement quoted Dr Pedro Alonso, Director of the WHO Global Malaria Programme, as saying, “these consolidated guidelines represent an important step in our efforts to deliver timely, evidence-based guidance to malaria-endemic countries.

“They will soon become a living resource that is updated periodically as new evidence becomes available, and as WHO guideline development groups bring forward proposals for new or revised recommendations,” he added.

According to the statement, the first version of the Guidelines for malaria – available online only – is a compilation of existing WHO recommendations on malaria.

“It 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 convening to develop new or updated recommendations, and other groups will convene this year to address additional relevant topics.

“Recommendations on malaria will continue to be reviewed and, where appropriate, updated based on the latest available evidence through WHO’s transparent and rigorous guidelines review process.

“Any updated recommendations will always display the date of the most recent revision in the MAGICapp platform.

“With each update, a new PDF version of the consolidated guidelines will also be available for download on the WHO website.’’

Clear, evidence-informed WHO recommendations guide managers of national malaria programmes as they develop polices and strategic plans to combat the disease tailored to the local context; they support decisions around “what to do”.

WHO also develops implementation guidance – such as operational and field manuals – to advise countries on “how to” deliver the recommended tools and strategies.

The consolidation of WHO’s malaria guidelines is one of a number of actions the Organisation has undertaken in recent years to make its guidance more accessible to end users in malaria-endemic countries.

The overall aim is to deliver timely, high quality recommendations through processes that are more transparent, consistent, efficient and predictable.

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