Malaria: a 10-year (1994-2003) retrospective study at University Malaya Medical Center (UMMC), Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Southeast Asian J Trop Med Public Health. 2005:36 Suppl 4:60-3.


Malaria is still one of the most important vector-borne diseases in Malaysia, particularly in remote areas. This retrospective study was carried out to find the prevalence of malaria among patients admitted to UMMC Kuala Lumpur, from 1994-2003. A total of 86 malaria cases were analyzed. Most cases occurred among foreigners [57% (49 cases)] while Malaysians constituted 43% (37 cases). Among foreigners, Indonesians constituted the most [57% (28 cases)]. Among Malaysians, most cases occurred among the Chinese [35% (13 cases)] followed by the Malays [30% (11 cases)]. Males [70%(60 cases)] were more commonly affected. The majority of cases were within the 20-39 year age group (69%). Three species of malaria parasites were reported, of which Plasmodium vivax constituted the most [55%( 47 cases)], followed by Plasmodium falciparum [29% (25 cases)], and only four cases (5%) of Plasmodium malariae. Nine percent (8 cases) were mixed infections. In this study, 12%(10 cases) developed chloroquine resistance: 7 cases of P. falciparum, and 3 cases of P. vivax. The most common complications were jaundice and anemia [77% (23 cases)], followed by blackwater fever [13% (4 cases)] and cerebral malaria [10% (3 cases)]. Most of the complications were due to P. falciparum [43% (13 cases)]. There were no reported deaths. This new source of malaria coming from foreigners must be given serious attention, as it has great potential of increasing malaria cases in urban Malaysia.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Animals
  • Female
  • Hospitals, University / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Internationality
  • Malaria / diagnosis
  • Malaria / epidemiology*
  • Malaria / parasitology
  • Malaria / prevention & control
  • Malaysia / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Plasmodium / classification
  • Plasmodium / isolation & purification*
  • Prevalence
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Time Factors