Recommended malaria tablets for Goa

Recommended malaria tablets for Goa

This page contains recommendations for malaria tablets for Goa from three different authoritative sources; two UK based and one USA based.

Interestingly, the two UK authorities, NHS for Scotland and The National Travel Health Network and Centre (NaTHNaC), currently (June 2013) recommend different malaria tablets for Goa.

NHS for Scotland and the Centre for disease Control (CDC) of the USA recommend atovaquone/proguanil (Malarone) OR doxycycline OR mefloquine (Lariam), whilst NaTHNac recommends chloroquine plus proguanil.

Either recommendation can be followed with confidence, as there is expert opinion in favour of both, even if there is not currently a consensus.

Background to Malaria risk in Goa

See news archive page of NHS for Scotland Fitfortravel website – Malaria in India (Goa) 16 October 2012.

The media has reported on the malaria situation in the state of Goa, on the west coast of India.

Following a downward trend of malaria cases over the last four years, an increase has been recorded in 2012. From the beginning of the year (2012) until the end of September, a total of 1145 malaria cases have been recorded; this compares with 935 cases for the whole of 2011.

Of the 210 malaria cases recorded in September 2012, 198 were of the less serious form of malaria.

Advice for Travellers

The state of Goa has a variable risk of malaria and antimalarial tablets are recommended. Travellers are also advised to avoid mosquito bites as other infections spread by mosquitoes may also be present e.g. dengue fever. Travellers should be aware of the malaria risk and report any fevers promptly; the less severe form of malaria can develop even up to one year after returning from a malarious area.

NHS for Scotland – recommended malaria tablets for Goa

The India page of the NHS Scotland Fitfortravel website (June 2013) states:

Malaria risk is present throughout the year, in all areas below 2000m. Risk is higher in north-eastern states, in the Andaman and Nicobar islands, Andhra Pradesh, Chhatisgarh, Goa, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Maharasthra, Orissa and West Bengal.

There is low to no risk in parts of the states of Himachel Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir and Sikkim, and also in the cities of Bangalore, Kolkata, Mumbai, Nagpur, Nasik and Pune.

Check with your doctor or nurse about suitable antimalarial tablets. Atovaquone/proguanil OR doxycycline OR mefloquine is the first choice.

The malaria map below is taken from the NHS Fitfortravel website. The areas of risk in India, including Goa, are coloured dark red.

recommended malaria tablets goa india

Centre for Disease Control (CDC) – recommended malaria tablets for Goa

The CDC is the authority which provides travel advice in the USA.

Note: Goa is not listed as an excepted area and therefore malaria tablets are recommended for Goa by the CDC – June 2013.

The country-by-country guide of the CDC information is reproduced below – India page.

Country Areas with Malaria Estimated relative risk of Malaria for US Travelers Drug Resistance Malaria Species Recommended Chemoprophlaxis Helpful links for Select Countries
India All areas throughout country except none in areas above 2,000 m (6,561 ft) in Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, and Sikkim. Present in cities of Delhi and Bombay (Mumbai). Moderate Chloroquine P. vivax 40%
P. falciparum 20-40%
P. malariae and P. Ovale remainder
Atovaquone/ proguanil, doxycycline, or mefloquine Altitude information and to determine if city is within a certain province

Map of provinces in India

UK Health Protection Agency (HPA) – recommendations for Goa, India

The Health Protection Agency, which is allied to the UK Department of Health, disseminates its recommendations through The National Travel Health Network and Centre (NaTHNaC). The India and Goa page or the NaTHNaC website (June 2013) contains the following:

  • There is a risk of malaria in the rest of India (including Goa).
  • The recommended chemoprophylaxis for the rest of India (including Goa) is chloroquine plus proguanil.

As stated above, the recommendation on the NaTHNaC website about which malaria tablets to take for travel to Goa is at odds with other authorities, although NaTHNaC and the HPA is an authoritative source or medical information and travel advice.

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