Severe malaria facts

  • Severe anemia in children increased by 1.5% from 4.6% (2014) to 6.1% (2016), but an overall decrease from 9.7% (2009)
  • Uganda has moved from 3rd (2010) to the 6th (2012) highest number of annual deaths from malaria in Africa
  • Contributes to about 5% of global malaria deaths
  • Case fatality in children under 5 malaria admissions decreased from 3.5% in 2011 to 0.72% in 2013, well below the targeted 1% set for 2015
  • Inpatient malaria data are not readily available and the impact of malaria control interventions on severe malaria and deaths cannot be ascertained
  • 2009 - 2014: national prevalence of malaria decreased from 42% to 19%

    Severe anemia improved from 9.7% in 2009 to 4.6% in 2016 in children 0–59 months of age (Hb<8.0 g/dL)

  • Malaria upsurge from April – June 2015: 50/112 districts saw an 80% increase in malaria admissions compared to the baseline

    Most affected districts: ten indoor residual spraying (IRS) districts transitioned to universal coverage of ITNs and improved case management in 2014

Inpatient and mortality rates

Severe malaria distribution


    • Threats:
      • Changing weather patterns (i.e. El Nino)  
      • Lack of emergency preparedness and response funding 

    Severe malaria policy and practice

    National treatment guidelines
    Recommendation Treatment
    Strong IV artesunate
    Alternative IV quinine
    Alternative IM artemether
    Recommendation Pre-referral
    Strong Rectal artesunate
    Alternative IM quinine

    * During the first trimester pregnancy, the most effective anti-malarial medicine should be used under medical supervision as the major objective in treatment of severe malaria is to prevent death.


    Malaria Training

    Health workers at all levels (including the private sector) were trained in integrated management of malaria (IMM) in 102 of 112 districts (10,500 HWs), including training in the management of severe malaria. Clinical audits for severe malaria were performed in 34 of 112 districts.