We describe the first recorded case from Africa of malarial lung, acute pulmonary insufficiency in Plasmodium falciparum malaria. The patient was successfully treated with intermittent positive pressure ventilation (IPPV). There was heavy parasitemia, preceding cerebral complications and rapid onset of pulmonary edema in the absence of fluid overload or cardiac failure. A further complication of polyuria from tubular dysfunction developed whilst the patient was being ventilated. IPPV may have an important place in the management of this rare and usually fatal complication of falciparum malaria.