Malaria elimination requires finding and treating every last transmittable case of malaria, and this means ensuring that those most at risk have rapid access to testing and treatment services. As the vector breeds in forests in the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS), communities who live and work in forested areas are key groups. For transient workers who seek work in these areas, many of whom do not have the knowledge, language, paperwork or comfort-level to seek professional medical care when they are on-the-move or on site, their risk of malaria infection is compounded by a lack of accessible health services. Providing quality assured health services to these workers – often in remote areas – is also challenging.
Worksites including dams, mines and construction sites attract mobile migrant populations (MMPs), and are frequently located close to forested areas with evidence indicating that mature rubber plantations also provide favorable conditions for transmission. For worksites at a distance from forest, the risk of infection comes from mobile workers in search of work arriving from the endemic areas. Worksites therefore present an excellent opportunity to reach this moving population of workers with malaria services.
In 2013, Population Services Khmer (PSK) launched its malaria worksite program on 45 plantations in five malaria endemic provinces. By the end of 2016, the program was active in 131 plantations in seven malaria endemic provinces, with 202 embedded, stocked and trained malaria workers. This document summarizes the program’s key learnings and recommendations.