One of the Millennium Development Goals, set in 2000 to tackle disease worldwide, is to stop the spread of malaria by 2015 and to begin to reduce the numbers of new cases. ACTs offer the hope of achieving these aims. At least 28 countries, half of them in sub-Saharan Africa, have recently adopted a policy of treating malaria with ACTs, and an increasing number are in the process of changing to ACTs. But many malaria-endemic countries have yet to replace their failing malaria treatment policies. The time is therefore right to encourage a switch to ACTs in the remaining countries and to maximize the public health impact of this move. This policy brief explores the opportunities created, and challenges that still need to be overcome, in using ACTs as the first-line treatment of uncomplicated malaria caused by the Plasmodium falciparum parasite. 

Karen I. Barnes and Salim Abdulla; November 2005