We report on the first 2 years of operation of a new strategy for treatment for P. falciparum malaria patients who were not cured by a standard course of chloroquine. Any such patient who returned to a malaria treatment and detection post within 2 weeks was treated daily under supervision with chloroquine. Patients whose parasitaemia had not decreased below 25% of the initial level by day 3 or cleared completely by day 7 were given sulphadoxine/pyrimethamine (Fansidar). Of 39824 patients treated initially with chloroquine, 4% returned to the malaria post within 2 weeks of treatment; 87% of these were chloroquine resistant and treated with Fansidar and 28% of the returning patients were RIII resistant. Resistance was associated with geographical area, initial parasite density and age. Earlier studies had shown resistance to be confined to border areas, but we found that it was highest in the centre of the region, notably in the lowlands of the Shewa and Arsi provinces, and lowest in the west. Although imported cases have been held responsible for the development of resistance in border areas, other factors are likely to be important in the middle of the region. The implications of these findings for a treatment policy of P. falciparum malaria in the region are discussed.