We are working to ensure that children with confirmed cases of malaria receive quality-assured and effective antimalarial treatment.
The provision and use of effective malaria treatment is essential to malaria control efforts. Since 2001, the World Health Organization has recommended the use of Artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT) for the treatment of uncomplicated P. falciparum malaria, one of the most common and most dangerous forms of malaria. The combination of artemisinin (or one of its derivatives) with an antimalarial of a different class produces a treatment that is fast acting and highly effective in treating the disease. Unfortunately, monotherapies or non-quality assured ACTs are cheaper and more widely available than quality-assured ACTs, particularly in the private sector. The use of substandard treatments not only fails to treat the disease but has the potential to drive the emergence and spread of artemisinin resistance.
Our programs ensure availability of quality-assured ACT supply across a variety of channels (in both public and private sectors and at community level). Using a market-based approach, we work with manufacturers, importers, distributors, and providers to increase the market share for quality-assured ACT. Concurrently, we use tailored health communication campaigns to increase both consumer and provider demand for quality-assured ACTs and work with providers to improve their quality of care.
Making a Difference
ACTs in the DRepublic of Congo
Despite recent progress, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) remains the second most malaria-affected country in the world, with upwards of 10 million confirmed cases each year. Many cases seek treatment within private drug stores, pharmacies or private health facilities where a multitude of antimalarial options exist. But with the majority of the population living on less than $1 a day, consumers tend to opt for the cheapest treatment option, unaware of the difference in terms of quality and without proper guidance from private providers. These cheaper options are often ineffective antimalarials that are either no longer considered efficacious or that lack proper quality assurance.
With funding from the United Kingdom Department for International Development (DfID) and the Global Fund, PSI’s Support to Malaria Control in the DRC Project, or DEFEAT, is working to create a market for quality ACTs in the private sector in DRC, where over 90% of antimalarials are supplied. The quality-assured ACTs are pre-qualified by the World Health Organization and marked with the Global Fund’s Greenleaf logo. The product line is subsidized so drug manufacturers, importers and pharmacists have incentive to drive its use. Demand for the brand is being promoted among consumers and providers through TV ads, billboards, radio spots, medical detailing and door-to-door promotion.