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.
- Standard Operating Procedure (SOPs) for Audit and Audit Scorecard
Standard Operating Procedure (SOPs) for audit are required to standardize the process that evaluates FCM quality standards and to raise the bar for best practices of FCM. These SOPs for Audit arepart of a larger Quality Assurance Manual and Toolkit designed to improve the quality of care for fever case management in the private sector.
- Fever Case Management Supervisor Job Aid
Supervisor job-aids assure that quality of fever case management (FCM) is preserved even many months after trainings. These supervisor job-aids are part of a larger Quality Assurance Manual and Toolkit developed through the UNITAID Private Sector RDT project to provide guidance on quality assurance for FCM in the private sector.
- Fever Case Management Assessment Checklist
This assessment checklist is a valuable tool for supervisors monitoring the quality of care for Fever Case Management (FCM) in the private sector.
- Fever Case Management Client Register
Client registers aim to capture the universe of Fever Case Management (FCM) from a qualitative and quantitative point of view. This FCM Client Register is part of a larger Quality Assurance Manual and Toolkit developed through the UNITAID Private Sector RDT project to provide guidance on quality assurance for FCM in the private sector.
- Fever Case Management Provider Job Aid
The aim of these provider job-aids developed for Tanzania, Madagascar and Kenya is to visually support providers during their day-to-day activities and guide them through the steps they must undertake to perform, read and dispose of malaria Rapid Diagnostic Tests (RDTs).
- Fever Case Management Treatment Algorithm
These treatment algorithms are simple decision trees that consist of a series of questions that can be easily answered by a “yes” or “no”. They provide step-by-step guidance for diagnosis, treatment or referral of customers presenting with febrile illness.
- Standard Operating Procedures for Malaria Rapid Diagnostic Tests (RDTs)
These standard operating procedures for RDTs provide a standardized procedure to perform RDTs as agreed by private providers, trainers and supervisors.
- Fever Case Management Provider Training Manual
This Fever Case Management (FCM) Provider Training Manual is part of a larger Quality Assurance Manual and Toolkit developed through the UNITAID Private Sector RDT project to provide guidance on quality assurance for FCM in the private sector.
- Private Sector Fever Case Management Quality Assurance Manual and Toolkit
As a part of the UNITAID-funded Private Sector RDT project, PSI developed a Quality Assurance Manual and Toolkit to provide guidance on quality assurance for fever case management in the private sector.
- Who Continues to Stock Oral Artemisinin Monotherapy? Results of a Provider Survey in Myanmar
This study attempts to quantify the characteristics of outlet providers who continue to stock oral artemisinin monotherapy (AMT) for the treatment of malaria despite national efforts to replace oral AMT with quality-assured artemisinin-based combination therapies (ACTs) in Myanmar.