Despite significant reductions in malaria in endemic countries over the past decade, fever is still often equated with malaria, leading to overuse of frontline treatment for malaria (ACT) and mismanagement of other potentially life-threatening illnesses. While the availability of high quality, inexpensive malaria rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) has led to improvements in diagnostic testing in the public sector, similar gains have not been made in the private sector. This leaves a critical gap in testing as the private sector is the first point of contact for health services for roughly 40% of the population in endemic countries.
On March 28, 2017, PSI, UNITAID, Malaria Consortium, FIND, and JHSPH held a webinar to discuss leveraging the power of the private sector to transform the mRDT market in support of universal access to malaria diagnostics.
Drawing on learning from a three-year project funded by UNITAID to stimulate a private sector market for mRDTs in five sub-Saharan African countries, the panel provided insights on the key market shortcomings, quality concerns and policy challenges related to the scale-up mRDTs in the private sector. Panelists further discussed the importance of public-private engagement in achieving universal diagnostic coverage.
- Nikki Charman, Associate Director Malaria and Child Survival, PSI
- Elizabeth Streat, Senior Public Health Specialist, Malaria Consortium
- Christian Nsanzabana, Scientific Officer, FIND
- Steven Harvey, Assistant Professor, JHSPH
- Nina Martin, Research Associate, JHSPH
- Jane Cunningham, Technical Officer, WHO
Stephen Poyer, Research Advisor Malaria and Child Survival, PSI