Malaria, other vectorborne and parasitic diseases programme

New standard operating procedures for malaria microscopy

MAY 2016 - WHO has developed a set of standard operating procedures (SOPs) to guide microscopists working at all levels of the health care system on the correct procedures for performing microscopy diagnosis for malaria.

Regional situation

As of 2016, about 735M people in the region are at some risk for malaria, with 31M at high risk. Malaria transmission is highest in PNG, Solomon Islands & Vanuatu. In other countries in the region, transmission is much more focal, disproportionately affecting ethnic minorities and migrant workers. Both P. falciparum and P. vivax are prevalent in the region. Recently, P. knowlesi has increased in public health importance, particularly in Malaysia. Malaysia is in the pre-elimination phase, while China and the Republic of Korea are in the elimination phase. Other malaria-endemic countries in the region are in control phase.

Malaria drug resistance

The emergence and possible spread of multidrug resistance to antimalarial medicines, including resistance to artemisinin-based combination therapy, poses a serious challenge to effective malaria control in the Western Pacific Region. Monitoring antimalarial drug resistance is therefore a key activity of all national malaria programmes. Antimalarial drug resistance monitoring is based on regular therapeutic efficacy studies in patients with malaria, supported by additional laboratory studies. The results of these studies are used by Member States to keep their malaria treatment policies updated based on recent evidence.

Malaria elimination

Increased investment in malaria control from 2000 onwards has resulted in significant decreases in malaria burden in the Western Pacific Region. By 2015, all malaria-endemic countries in the Region had set malaria elimination goals. The momentum for malaria elimination has increased through the development of the WHO Global Technical Strategy for Malaria (2016-2030) and the Strategy for Malaria Elimination in the GMS (2015–2030); and the agreement of heads of government at the 9th East Asia Summit to achieve an Asia-Pacific free of malaria by 2030. WHO is currently developing a new regional framework for malaria (2016–2020), which will serve as a road map towards a malaria-free region.


fact buffet

Population at risk

154 millionin the Western Pacific Region in 2014

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Estimated malaria cases

812 000in the Western Pacific Region in 2014

Reported malaria attributed deaths

297in the Western Pacific Region in 2014