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BackgroundPlasmodium vivax malaria is a leading cause of morbidity in Ethiopia. The first-line treatment for P. vivax is chloroquine (CQ) and primaquine (PQ), but there have been local reports of CQ resistance. A clinical study was conducted to determine the efficacy of CQ for the treatment of P. vivax malaria in southern Ethiopia.MethodsIn 2021, patients with P. vivax mono-infection and uncomplicated malaria were enrolled and treated with 25 mg/kg CQ for 3 consecutive days. Patients were followed for 28 days according to WHO guidelines. The data were analysed using per-protocol (PP) and Kaplan‒Meier (K‒M) analyses to estimate the risk of recurrent P. vivax parasitaemia on day 28.ResultsA total of 88 patients were enrolled, 78 (88.6%) of whom completed the 28 days of follow-up. Overall, 76 (97.4%) patients had adequate clinical and parasitological responses, and two patients had late parasitological failures. The initial therapeutic response was rapid, with 100% clearance of asexual parasitaemia within 48 h.ConclusionDespite previous reports of declining chloroquine efficacy against P. vivax, CQ retains high therapeutic efficacy in southern Ethiopia, supporting the current national treatment guidelines. Ongoing clinical monitoring of CQ efficacy supported by advanced molecular methods is warranted to inform national surveillance and ensure optimal treatment guidelines.

Original publication




Journal article


Malaria journal

Publication Date





Department of Pharmacology and Clinical Pharmacy, School of Pharmacy, College of Health Sciences, Addis Ababa University, P.O. Box 9086, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.


Humans, Plasmodium vivax, Parasitemia, Malaria, Vivax, Chloroquine, Antimalarials, Treatment Outcome, Adolescent, Adult, Aged, Middle Aged, Child, Child, Preschool, Ethiopia, Female, Male, Young Adult