Malaria is a life-threatening disease caused by a parasite that is transmitted to people by infected mosquitoes. Because it is not possible to completely avoid mosquito bites (and for troops in the field this is especially difficult), anti-malarial medications are a key component of malaria prevention. There is currently no vaccine against malaria registered in Australia.
The Australian Defence Force selects from a number of anti-malarial medications for the prevention and treatment of malaria. There is no single medication that is 100% effective in preventing malaria and suitable for everyone. All medications have side effects but some individuals may also demonstrate intolerance to certain drugs. This is why Defence works to ensure there is a range of preventative health options available for personnel deploying to malaria affected areas. Because the malaria parasite evolves over time and develops resistance to anti-malarial medications, ongoing development of new medications is necessary.
Anti-malarial medications currently used within the ADF are doxycycline, atovaquone/proguanil (trade name Malarone™), mefloquine and primaquine. Tafenoquine was trialled by the Army Malaria Institute* (AMI) in ADF personnel deployed to Timor-Leste from 2000 to 2001. The Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration approved the registration of tafenoquine on 13 September 2018.
Personnel provided medication as part of a trial
|Tafenoquine eradication trial (Bouganville and East Timor 1999-2000)||1017|
|Tafenoquine prophylaxis trial (East Timor 2000-2001)||162||492|
|Mefloquine and Doxycycline prophylaxis trial (East Timor 2001 - 2002)||1157|
|Malaria Treatment Trial (2001-2)||31|
Personnel individually prescribed medication