Photo: Anna Wang/MMV

Transmission characteristics

With a population of around 70 million people, just over 13 million people are at risk of contracting malaria in Thailand. In 2022, there were 6,236 total cases of malaria (vivax, falciparum, and mixed). This is an almost 160% increase from 2021, mainly due to the influx of refugees from Myanmar on the Myanmar-Thai border after political and social instability forced them to flee.1

Malaria transmission in Thailand is closely associated with two malaria vectors that inhabit the forest and forest fringe, Anopheles dirus and An. minimus. Transmission is seasonal with a peak in June–August. The at-risk population is mainly those living in the forest and forest fringes in the border areas of the country.1


Thailand’s malaria surveillance data is the most comprehensive and timely with the Greater Mekong subregion, which allows the NMCP to update village-level malaria risk in real time. At the beginning of 2017, the NMCP identified 2,741 village clusters (of which 1,116 were classified as active foci).1 The Thailand Malaria Program Review identified malaria surveillance strengthening and response as one of the key recommendations to move towards elimination.1 Thailand aims to achieve active case detection and case investigation of all malaria cases, as well as integrating drug resistance monitoring as part of the routine treatment follow-up surveillance system.1

2020 milestones/ malaria elimination

By 2017, Thailand had met targets to reduce mortality by at least 40% and malaria case incidence by at least 40% by 2020.1

Thailand envisions the elimination of malaria in all districts by 2024. The goal of the current National Strategic Plan (NSP) for Malaria Control and Elimination is to ensure 80% of the country will be free from locally acquired malaria transmission by the year 2016, 90% by 2018, and 95% by 2021.1

Thailand is included in the Mekong Malaria Elimination (MME) Initiative in the Greater Mekong subregion, supported through a Global Fund financed regional artemisinin-resistance initiative, which aims to eliminate P. falciparum by 2025 and all species of malaria by 2030.1

Treatment policy for P. vivax 

Chloroquine, plus directly observed 14-day primaquine, is recommended for radical treatment of all P. vivax cases.2

Diagnosis and treatment is free of charge in the public sector.

G6PD testing policy

G6PD testing is required before treatment with primaquine.2

G6PD deficiency prevalence

G6PD deficiency prevalence ranges from 3% to about 18% in Thailand, though varies depending on ethnic group and geographic region. G6PD Mahidol and Viangchan are the most common G6PD-deficient variant in most Thai populations, though at least 10 other variants have been detected.