Christine Phillips, Josh Francis


  • Investigations for malaria should be performed on anyone who has travelled from/through an endemic malaria area within 3 months of arrival if asymptomatic, or within 12 months if symptoms of fever (regardless of any pre-departure malaria testing or treatment).
  • Test with both thick and thin blood films AND an antigen-based rapid diagnostic test (RDT), as RDT alone is not significantly sensitive to detect all non P.falciparum infections.
  • All people with malaria should be treated by, or in consultation with, a specialist ID service. Discuss diagnoses urgently with an infectious disease service. Patients with malaria may deteriorate quickly, especially children, pregnant women and those with low immunity.
  • Admit all patients with falciparum malaria to hospital, at least for the initial part of their treatment. Experienced clinicians may treat individuals with non-falciparum or non-severe falciparum malaria infection as outpatients if they are in a non-malaria receptive area.

Produced by

in consultation with

                  Refugee Health Network of Australia

Endorsed by

Funded by

The Australian Refugee Health Practice Guide was produced with funds from the Australian Government Department of Health.


The information set out in the Australian Refugee Health Practice Guide (“the Guide”) is current at the date of first publication and is intended for use as a guide of a general nature only and may or may not be relevant to particular patients or circumstances. Nor is the Guide exhaustive of the subject matter. Persons implementing any recommendations contained in the Guide must exercise their own independent skill or judgement or seek appropriate professional advice relevant to their own particular circumstances when so doing. The statements or opinions that are expressed in the Guide reflect the views of the contributing authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the editors or Foundation House. Compliance with any recommendations cannot of itself guarantee discharge of the duty of care owed to patients and others coming into contact with the health professional and the premises from which the health professional operates.

Whilst the information is directed to health professionals possessing appropriate qualifications and skills in ascertaining and discharging their professional (including legal) duties, it is not to be regarded as clinical advice and, in particular, is no substitute for a full examination and consideration of medical history in reaching a diagnosis and treatment based on accepted clinical practices.

Accordingly, Foundation House and its employees and agents shall have no liability (including without limitation liability by reason of negligence) to any users of the information contained in the Guide for any loss or damage (consequential or otherwise), cost or expense incurred or arising by reason of any person using or relying on the information contained in the Guide and whether caused by reason of any error, negligent act, omission or misrepresentation in the information. Although every effort has been made to ensure that drug doses and other information are presented accurately in the Guide, the ultimate responsibility rests with the prescribing clinician. For detailed prescribing information or instructions on the use of any product described herein, please consult the prescribing information issued by the manufacturer.