A Note from PSI’s Director of Malaria, Tarryn Haslam

This year marks PSI’s fiftieth anniversary! This is a great opportunity to reflect on all the progress we have made in malaria control and to look forward to the future and the new and exciting ways to serve Sara, PSI’s archetypal consumer.

For the malaria program at PSI, that means recognizing first and foremost that all the tools and approaches that have enabled global progress so far will not necessarily get us to where we want to be in the future. The global malaria community is at a crossroads. The past three World Malaria Reports (2017, 2018 and 2019) have shown that our collective progress has stalled, and we need new tools and innovations to sustain the gains we have made towards eradication. PSI remains dedicated to contributing to the development of new tools and approaches in order to bend the curve on malaria cases. PSI’s global malaria strategy is dedicated to ensuring that our beneficiary, Sara (whom we envision here as a young pregnant mother), has access to high-quality products and services that are delivered in a way she wants and needs at a price she can afford. To deliver on this strategy, PSI focuses on three key intervention areas, outlined below.

NEXT GENERATION NETS

The global malaria community will celebrate the distribution of our 2 billionth insecticide-treated mosquito net (ITN) in 2020 — and PSI is proud to have distributed approximately 20% of those nets worldwide. However, despite achieving significant health impact, traditional pyrethroid nets are no longer as effective due to insecticide resistance. Through several key projects, PSI is working to introduce next-generation ITNs to the market.  PSI is responsible for the technical coordination of Unitaid’s New Nets project, piloting the introduction of next-generation nets in key geographies. In addition, PSI is proud to be the ITN lead on the U.S. President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI) project Vector Link, supporting the distribution of next-generation PBO (piperonyl butoxide) nets in countries like Tanzania and Malawi. Finally, PSI is also distributing next-generation nets as part of our Global Fund portfolio.

To read a quick update on our collective work in Tanzania, click here.

MOVING QUALITY MALARIA CARE CLOSER TO CONSUMERS

Our role leading PMI’s flagship global service delivery project, PMI Impact Malaria, has been critical in shaping how we afford Sara timely diagnosis and treatment across the 14 countries in which we are currently implementing this project.

As the project moves into its third year, I am excited about the scale of impact this project has achieved. To read more about how PMI’s Impact Malaria project serves Sara and her family, click here.

In addition to our public sector malaria care focus, PSI also seeks to improve private sector malaria markets so that Sara can gain access to high-quality diagnosis and treatment no matter where she chooses to seek care. PSI, along with other partners, is working closely with the World Health Organization’s Global Malaria Programme to support the development of global guidance on private sector malaria case management.

RESPONSE-DRIVEN SURVEILLANCE SYSTEMS

The third arm of PSI’s malaria strategy is response-driven surveillance. PSI helps to shape malaria surveillance systems to reflect different stages along the control-to-elimination spectrum. One of our key projects contributing to this strategic approach is the Greater Mekong Elimination through Surveillance program.

You can read more about our work on surveillance in elimination settings here.

Finally, thank you for being a part of our network, whether you are a partner, a donor, a peer organization or a fellow colleague. I look forward to sharing stories with you throughout the year of innovation, inspiration, and impact as PSI takes on new challenges and achieves new milestones in the fight against malaria.

Banner image photographed by Mwangi Kirubi, courtesy of PMI Impact Malaria

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