The natural products quinine and artemisinine have been effective antimalarials for centuries. Most synthetic antimalarials were developed because of pressure of war; against all some degree of resistance has developed. The newer drugs are too expensive for large-scale use. Development of new antimalarials is financially too risky for the pharmaceutical industry. Co-operation among industries, research institutes, governments and international organizations is coming off the ground. Dutch researchers should contribute to international malaria research for humanitarian reasons and out of self-interest, for the benefit of public health.