Malaria is a preventable and curable – yet life-threatening – disease caused by parasites that are transmitted to people through the bites of infected mosquitoes.
The World Health Organization estimates that 3.4 billion people across the world are at risk of malaria, with children under the age of five and pregnant women being most vulnerable. WHO also estimates that in 2013 there were 198 million cases of malaria, which led to 584,000 deaths, mostly among African children
How malaria works:
- Malaria is caused by Plasmodium parasites, transmitted to people by anopheles mosquitoes.
- Of the four parasites that cause malaria in humans, two (Plasmodium vivax and Plasmodium falciparum) are the most common, and the latter is the most deadly.
- After a period of incubation, malaria presents itself with initial flu-like symptoms that include fever, headache, chills and vomiting. It is often described as an acute febrile (fever-like) illness.
- If not treated within 24 hours, P. falciparum malaria can progress to severe illness, which may lead to death or serious brain damage, especially in children and pregnant women.
We focus on a variety of interventions to improve the availability, affordability and use of effective malaria treatment. Our interventions against malaria include the delivery of long-lasting insecticide-treated nets to prevent malaria, rapid diagnostic tests to diagnose malaria, and artemisinin-based combination therapy to effectively treat malaria. #DefeatMalaria
All of our interventions are accompanied by strategic behavior change communications to increase the appropriate use of these products. We also lead research programs to inform global malaria policy and national programming decisions around the world.
Our network members play a variety of roles. These include managing national programs to support the public sector, and helping grow commercial markets for product delivery to build a more sustainable, self-funded delivery mechanism to reduce the public-sector burden.
Our in-country offices and experts work with national malaria control programs to assess the total need or market for malaria prevention and treatment. Once the market is defined, we work with partners to facilitate the delivery of approved evidence-based interventions using a tailored combination of public- and private-sector delivery channels. This holistic approach, with differing levels of subsidy for groups with different abilities to pay (free for the poorest, varying levels of subsidy for those who can afford to pay), maximizes health impact in a sustainable way at the best possible value.
We also contribute to global efforts to contain the spread of artemisinin resistance in Southeast Asia. Malaria parasites resistant to artemisinin has emerged in the Greater Mekong sub-region, with a focus in Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand and – more recently – Myanmar. The spread of these resistant parasites would threaten recent successes in malaria control and jeopardize the gains made to date across the malaria endemic world, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa. We are working with national malaria control programs and within national and global strategic frameworks to prevent and treat malaria in the region.
Donate to support PSI’s efforts to #DefeatMalaria this #WorldMalariaDay.
To date, we have delivered more than 215 million insecticide-treated mosquito nets and more than 65 million artemisinin-based combination therapies for malaria treatment. In 2011 alone, we delivered 43 million nets, representing roughly half of all nets delivered in Africa that year.
To date, we have delivered more than 215 million insecticide-treated nets in 38 countries. We also stimulate markets to increase private sector delivery of this key malaria prevention commodity at no cost to the public sector.
- Long-Lasting Insecticide-Treated Nets: We are the largest distributor of long-lasting insecticide-treated nets in the world, and we use a variety of strategies in tandem with distribution to reach and protect vulnerable populations.
Diagnosis and Treatment
Alongside rapid diagnostic test kit distribution programs, we deliver and promote artemisinin-based combination therapy, all in conjunction with tailored health communication campaigns, to ensure that people suffering from malaria are properly diagnosed and started on treatment within 24 hours of the onset of symptoms.
- Integrated Case Management: Our integrated case management programs reduce death and severe disease through prompt and effective diagnosis and treatment where and when people need it.
- Rapid Diagnostic Tests (RDTs): We promote the use of quality assured RDTs to confirm suspected cases of malaria before supplying appropriate malaria treatment, thereby decreasing wastage of artemisinin-based combination therapy and preventing the development of dangerous drug resistance.
- Artemisinin-based Combination Therapy: We are working to ensure that children with confirmed cases of malaria receive quality-assured and effective antimalarial treatment.
- Evidence of Successful Malaria Case Management Policy Implementation in Cambodia: Results from National ACTwatch Outlet Surveys
Cambodia has worked for over a decade to implement policies and strategies to increase access to quality malaria case management services and address the driving forces behind multi-drug resistance. This paper analyzes outlet survey trend data collected by the ACTwatch project to demonstrate how these changes in policy and strategy have led to shifts in Cambodian anti-malarial markets.
- Improving Rational Use of ACTs Through the Introduction of mRDTs to the Formal Private Sector in Tanzania
Working with the National Malaria Control Program, and with support from UNITAID, PSI Tanzania and its partners are stimulating the creation of a private sector market for quality-assured malaria RDTs and quality case management services.
- Market Trends for Malaria Blood Testing in Sub-Saharan Africa, 2009-2014
In 2012, the World Health Organization (WHO) launched the Test, Treat, Track initiative recommending confirmatory testing prior to antimalarial treatment. National malaria control programs (NMCP) across subSaharan Africa (SSA) subsequently aligned national guidelines with this recommendation. Strategies to scale up testing using malaria rapid diagnostic tests (mRDT) were introduced by NMCPs. We examine malaria testing availability, price and market share using national market survey data collected by the ACTwatch project.
- Private Sector Providers: Key Partners in Improving Quality of Fever Case Management – Insights From Madagascar
Ensuring universal diagnosis of all cases of suspected malarial illness is a public health priority (and WHO recommendation) to ensure correct diagnosis and treatment and to counter resistance to artemisinin-based combination therapies (ACTs). This issue is particularly pertinent for the private sector which is often unregulated, where presumptive treatment is common, and where a significant portion of the population seeks care.
- Sp Availability and (Mis)Use in Sub-Saharan Africa: Antimalarial Market Data From 8 Countries
As evidence of reduced chloroquine efficacy against plasmodium falciparum mounted in the 1990’s, sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine (SP) became first-line malaria treatment in many endemic countries in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). Between 2002-2005, countries in SSA adopted artemesinin combination therapies (ACT) as first-line treatment. SP is still recommended by the WHO and used across SSA for intermittent preventive treatment of malaria during pregnancy (IPTp). We examine availability and distribution of SP using national antimalarial market survey trend data collected by the ACTwatch project.
- Transforming the Private Sector Market for Quality Malaria Case Management in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo
The Democratic Republic of Congo’s (DRC) malaria treatment guidelines state that all suspected cases should be confirmed by diagnostic testing prior to treatment. Positive cases of simple malaria should be treated with artesunate+amodiaquine (ASAQ) or artemether+lumefantrine (AL), ideally with a WHO pre-qualified product.
- Greater Impact at Lower Cost: Prioritizing Support to Private Patent Medicine Vendors for Increased Quality Fever Case Management in Ebonyi State, Nigeria
In Nigeria, the majority of households seek basic health care through private sector health providers, known as Private Patent Medicine Vendors (PPMVs). Recent data from ACTwatch outlet surveys have found that PPMVs play a significant role in providing antimalarials, antibiotics and other medicines to the general population. This has raised concerns about the overall quality of care offered by PPMVs, as well as in the ability of PPMVs to correctly diagnose and prescribe drugs, given that large-scale support systems for PPMVs are incomplete and do not always emphasize quality of care.
- A Tale of Two Providers: Similarities and Differences in Fever Case Management Practices Among Private Clinicians and Pharmacists in Kenya
Increasing the range of providers than can offer quality malaria diagnostic services is one way to improve access to testing and help meet the target of universal testing of fever for malaria.
- Ngao Mosquito Net Ad – Tanzania
This is an advertisement for Ngao Mosquito Nets in Tanzania.
- Private Sector Healthcare Myanmar: Evidence from the ‘Sun’ Social Franchise
As an evidence-based model, social franchising puts high quality healthcare within the reach of people in need around the world. This report showcases results from four studies led by researchers from PSI, the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), and Johns Hopkins University, which demonstrate how social franchising networks, like PSI/Myanmar's Sun Quality Network, improve the quality of health service delivery and health outcomes at-scale, cost effectively and equitably.