Photo: Marco Corsi from Sigma Tau

Transmission characteristics

Nearly 32 million people are at risk of malaria in Myanmar from a total population of 53.4 million.  
In 2022, there were an 157,533 total malaria cases (vivax, falciparum, and mixed). Political and social instability led to a nearly 650% increase in malaria cases, making Myanmar the largest contributor to South East Asia's malaria burden (92.4% of the regions indigenous cases come from Myanmar).3

Malaria transmission in Myanmar is closely associated with two malaria vectors that inhabit the forest and forest fringe: Anopheles dirus and Anopheles minimus, though there are ten species known to transmit malaria in the region.1 The peak transmission period is between July and October for most of the country with rainfall peaking between June and August.1 Adult males are particularly at risk of malaria owing to occupational exposure through mining, forest-related activities, rubber tapping, and construction. Malaria transmission in Myanmar is increasingly heterogeneous, with cases occurring in clusters amongst specific populations.1


Multiple malaria surveillance approaches are used in Myanmar depending on the transmission reduction phase. Nevertheless, only a very small proportion of confirmed malaria cases are investigated. Reported cases account for around 26.93% of the estimated malaria burden (falciparum and vivax). Under-reporting of malaria is highly likely in remote areas and border areas with Thailand and China where access to government healthcare is limited.2  

The National Malaria Information System (MIS) in the townships requires expansion and modernisation in support of the move towards elimination.2 The country aims to implement a case-based surveillance and response system based on GIS initially in five priority states/regions with low malaria incidence which are eligible for malaria elimination, with further expansion to multiple states/regions where appropriate. In addition to MIS, malaria data needs to be incorporated into the MoH’s District Health Information System (DHIS2).2

2020 milestones/ malaria elimination

Myanmar has already met its 2020 milestones to reduce malaria mortality and malaria case incidence (falciparum and vivax) by at least 40% from 2010 levels.

The National Plan for Malaria Elimination (2016–2030) has the following objectives:

  • Reducing the incidence of malaria to less than 1 case per 1000 population at risk in all states/regions by 2020;
  • Interrupting transmission of and eliminating indigenous P. falciparum malaria at least in 6 states/regions (Yangon, Bago, Magway, Mandalay, Nay Pyi Taw Union Territory & Mon) by 2020 and throughout the entire country by 2025;
  • Interrupting transmission of and eliminating indigenous malaria in a phased, progressing manner across the country by 2030; and
  • Preventing the re-establishment of local malaria transmission due to importation in all areas where it has been eliminated before and beyond 2030.

Myanmar is included in the Mekong Malaria Elimination (MME) Initiative in the Greater Mekong sub region, supported through a Global Fund financed regional artemisinin-resistance initiative, which aims to eliminate P. falciparum by 2025 and all species of malaria by 2030.

Treatment policy for P. vivax 

  • Chloroquine followed by 14-day primaquine for radical treatment of P. vivax
  • Diagnosis and treatment is free of charge in the public sector.

G6PD testing policy

G6PD testing before treatment with primaquine is not part of the national treatment policy. 

G6PD deficiency prevalence

In Myanmar, G6PD deficiency prevalence is generally over 10% and may be up to 30% in some groups. G6PD Mahidol is the most common G6PD-deficient variant.