By: Jenny Tolep, External Relations & Communications
PSI was recently announced as the Asia Pacific Malaria Elimination Network’s (APMEN) 36th Partner Institution.
Established in 2009, APMEN is a network of 17 Asia Pacific country partners and various partner institutions, working together to eliminate malaria in the region by 2030. APMEN receives funding from the Australian government, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and various country partners and partner institutions.
PSI joins with an extensive background in malaria control worldwide, including current programs in 29 countries, five in the Asia Pacific region. In Asia, PSI specifically focuses on detection, diagnostics and treatment of malaria, which includes building robust detection systems and tracking the market for first-line malaria treatment.
PSI plans to promote routine, electronic surveillance systems to hold and track data from privately owned health centers and high-risk workplaces, so country governments can best coordinate their malaria response.
“One of our contributions [to APMEN] will be through the ACTwatch program which generates a unique dataset on the malaria drugs that are available in the private and public sector outlets,” said PSI’s Greater Mekong Subregion Malaria Advisor, Henrietta Allen.
Artemisinin-based Combination Therapy (ACT) is the most effective malaria treatment method available today. The ACTwatch program aims to provide a comprehensive picture of markets for antimalarial drugs and diagnostic tests to inform national and international fever case management policy decision-making.
The World Health Organization (WHO) and PSI donors regularly rely on ACTwatch data because the evidence is significant and timely. Additionally, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, DFID and UNITAID support the program.
“2015 is a particularly exciting year for PSI in the [Greater Mekong Subregion] as we’re partnering with five key National Malaria Control Programs to complete ACTwatch Outlet Surveys,” said Allen.
Surveys in Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia and Myanmar will be used to measure the results of antimalarials in the markets and the success of the ACT replacement program.
“We’re delighted to be joining APMEN and believe that the ACTwatch data will be a useful addition to APMEN’s agenda and discussions,” said Allen.
To learn more about APMEN and the role of its partner countries and institutions, visit: www.apmen.org
Photo Credit: Emily Carter