Dose regimens for antimalarials are generally based on bodyweight. In many malaria-endemic countries though, antimalarial treatments are bought over the counter or prescribed in settings without weighing scales and a child’s age is used as a proxy for their bodyweight. Developing suitable age-based regimens requires knowledge of the actual bodyweight distribution in the population at different ages. The absence of such growth references from malaria endemic regions has contributed to some widely used but poor regimens.
To address this, researchers from the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, in collaboration with statisticians from the Netherlands and the United Kingdom, have modelled mixed-source population-based data from 64 countries to develop regional weight-for-age references for the malaria endemic regions of Africa, Asia and Latin America. Together with a newly developed modelling tool, these references can now be used to support antimalarial dose optimisation, particularly the development of appropriate age-based dosing regimens for use in real-life settings.
Download the paper published in the WHO bulletin, February 2015 by Hayes DJ et al.
More information is provided on:
- data collection and database creation
- weight-for-age growth reference modelling
- age-based dosing optimisation toolspan>
Access the Weight-for-Age (WFA) reference tables: