Malaria Treatment with Injectable Artesunate Study

The MATIAS study conducted between October 2012 and January 2013 in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), aimed to demonstrate through several limited-scope implementation studies how injectable artesunate may be progressively rolled out nationwide as the preferred treatment for severe malaria. Four components were evaluated to compare quinine to artesunate treatment: 

  1. Clinical assessment
  2. Time and motion study
  3. Feasibility and acceptability assessment
  4. Analysis of the financial cost
  • Due to reports concerning delayed haemolytic anaemias potentially related to the use of artesunate, measurements of haemoglobin were also added


  • Case fatalities were 3.8% with quinine and 1.7% with artesunate
  • Time to discharge was 3 versus 2 days (quinine vs artesunate) 
  • The mean cost for treatment was 19-36 USD for quinine versus 17-28 USD for artesunate.
  • 75% of healthcare workers reported that artesunate was easier to use than quinine


Inj AS in the DRC is easier to use and costs less than injectable quinine. These findings provide the basis for practical recommendations for rapid national deployment and switch over to inj AS in the DRC and elsewhere.