Malaria in humans is caused by one of five protozoan species of the genus
Plasmodium: P. falciparum, P. vivax, P. ovale, P.
malariae and more recently P. knowelsii. All species are transmitted by the bite
of an infected female Anopheles mosquito.
Travel within Sri Lanka
P. falciparum, P. vivax are the two
species identified in Sri Lanka.
The sustained decline in reported incidence since 2001 and the recent
launch of the elimination programme is evidence that there are no more endemic areas in Sri Lanka. Currently there
are only focal cases reported in the country. Hence travelers to Sri Lanka and
travelers within the country are not advised to take any malaria
Personal protection measures should be advised to reduce contact with mosquitoes
particularly when travelling to the dry zone and wild life sanctuaries. These
protective measures could be
Using mosquito nets (preferably insecticide-treated nets)
Wearing clothes that cover most of the body, long sleeves when
outdoors in the evenings and night time.
Use of insect repellent
on exposed skin.
Use Mosquito coils/vaporizers at night
Travel outside Sri Lanka
Malaria transmission occurs in large areas of Asia (including the Indian
Subcontinent, Southeast Asia, and the Middle East), Africa, Central and South
America, the island of Hispaniola (the Dominican Republic and Haiti), and the
Malaria transmission is generally higher in Africa than in other parts of the world, and that malaria is often
transmitted in urban areas as well as rural areas in sub-Saharan Africa. In contrast, malaria transmission is generally lower in
Asia and South America, a larger
proportion of the malaria is P. vivax, and most urban areas do not have
All travelers visiting countries where high level malaria transmission occurs
are advised to contact the Anti Malaria Campaign Directorate or the nearest
regional office for information on appropriate prophylactic medicine. These
medicines are provided free of charge by the Campaign for a period of up to
three months to travelers. In addition all travelers are advised to adopt
protective measures to protect themselves from mosquito bites. Appropriate
information can be obtained from the AMC Directorate.
Drugs commonly used for the
prophylaxis of malaria
Prophylaxis only in areas with chloroquine-sensitive P. falciparum.
300 mg base (500 mg salt) orally, once/week
5 mg/kg base (8.3 mg/kg salt) orally, once/week, up to maximum adult dose of 300
Begin 1weeks before travel to malarious areas. Take weekly on the same day
of the week while in the malarious area and for 4 weeks after leaving such
Prophylaxis in areas with
chloroquine-resistant P. falciparum.
228 mg base (250 mg salt) orally, once/week preferably
<9 kg: 4.6 mg/kg base (5 mg/kg salt) orally, once/week
10-19 kg: 1/4 tablet once/week
20-30 kg: 1/2 tablet once/week
31-45 kg: 3/4 tablet once/week
>45 kg 1
1 tablet once/week begin 1weeks before travel to malarious areas. Take
weekly on the same day of the week while in the malarious area and for 4 weeks
after leaving such areas.
Allergy to mefloquine or related compounds (e.g., quinine and quinidine)
active depression/ recent history of depression,
Generalized anxiety disorder, psychosis, schizophrenia, and other major
Not recommended for persons with cardiac conduction abnormalities.
Travel during Pregnancy – Please contact the AMC Directorate
If you develop fever after entering to malaria endemic area even if you are on
malaria prophylactic drugs you should seek medical attention urgently and have
your blood examined for malaria parasites.
If you develop fever within a six month period after returning to Sri Lanka
/leaving that country, medical attention should be sought urgently and blood
should be examined for malaria parasites. These services can be obtained free of
charge from the AMC headquarters or the regional offices.