Self-medication and Anti-malarial Drug Resistance in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC): A silent threat

Background Malaria is a global infectious (vector-borne: Anopheles mosquitoes) disease which is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). Among all its parasitic (protozoan: Plasmodium sp.) variants, Plasmodium falciparum (PF) is the most virulent and responsible for above 90% of global malaria deaths hence making it a global public health threat. Main context Despite current front-line antimalarial treatments options especially allopathic medications and malaria prevention (and control) strategies especially governmental policies and community malaria intervention programs in SSA, PF infections remains prevalent due to increased antimicrobial/antimalarial drug resistance caused by several factors especially genetic mutations and auto(self)-medication practices in SSA. In this article, we focused on the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) as the largest SSA country by bringing perspective into the impact of self-medication and antimalarial drug resistance, and provided recommendation for long-term improvement and future analysis in malaria prevention and control in SSA. Conclusions Self-medication and anti-malarial drug resistance is a major challenge to malaria control in DRC and sub-Saharan Africa, and to achieve sustainable control, individual, community and governmental efforts must be aligned to stop self-medication, and strengthen the health systems against malaria.