Greater Mekong Subregion Elimination of Malaria through Surveillance

The Greater Mekong Subregion Elimination of Malaria through Surveillance program (GEMS) supports diverse private sector outlets to correctly test, treat and report malaria cases to accelerate malaria elimination in Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar and Vietnam.

Country Insights (2018)

Where We Work

Country-Specific Initiatives


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How We Operate

Countries in the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) have successfully brought down the number of malaria cases in the region over recent years and elimination is now in sight. This goal is urgent: the drugs and insecticides we use to fight malaria are losing their effectiveness and the GMS has historically been the epicenter for drug resistance. Malaria needs to be eliminated before it is too late for Asia, and before resistance spreads to Africa where malaria continues to take hundreds of thousands of lives every year.

GEMS takes a unique approach to malaria elimination:

  • Mapping & Enrollment
  • Comprehensive Training
  • Securing Supply Chains
  • Electronic Reporting App & Data Analysis
  • Documentation of Lessons Learned & Best Practices

Technology and Surveillance

PSI is investing in the development and roll-out of intuitive, innovative tech solutions.
  • PSI co-developed the Malaria Case Surveillance (MCS) app to allow providers to easily report cases as soon as they find them in an easy-to-use interface. Utilizing this real-time data collection from providers in the field, PSI is able to make informed decisions.
  • The Health Network Quality Improvement System (HNQIS) tablet-based app was created to enable PSI staff to score provider performance against global best practice benchmarks, in order to provide immediate and constructive feedback to continue improving provider quality. HNQIS also helps our team know which providers need more assistance and can plan their supervisory support visits accordingly.
  • PSI uses the District Health Network Information System (DHIS2) to house its electronic surveillance system, which allows for widespread access to data and user-friendly tools to visualize data in ways that facilitates decision making.

Our Impact

In 2018, GEMS achieved the following health impact:


malaria tests conducted


malaria cases detected, treated and reported


Private outlets supported

Frequently Asked Questions

In Southeast Asia, between 40-70% of the population first seek health care in the private sector, meaning that private providers potentially see most of the malaria cases in the region. It is therefore critical that private sector outlets are able to test for malaria, and are stocked with the right drugs in order to provide correct treatment.

PSI works with the private providers that at-risk communities trust most. This includes doctors working at registered private clinics and pharmacies, as well as community health volunteers and non-formal outlets that can be a significant source of drugs and advice in some areas. To reach some of the most at-risk groups, GEMS has a network of malaria volunteers on large worksites near forested areas where many marginalized and mobile workers are based, often far from any other health facility.

Malaria elimination will fail without surveillance, and surveillance is incomplete without including data from the private sector. Without it, the government is not seeing the full picture.

PSI uses DHIS2, which is an open-source software allowing for greater access to data, and tools to help visualize data and automatically generate indicator calculations and reports. More information on DHIS2 can be found here.

Between 2008-2016, ACTwatch conducted outlet surveys, household surveys and supply chain research to better understand the market for and use of anti-malarial drugs and rapid diagnostic tests. The data is available here.

In the News

Malaria Wars

A disaster is looming in Cambodia and the rest of the Greater Mekong subregion: A deadly malaria parasite has become resistant to both drugs used

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2018 GEMS Annual Report

PSI’s GEMS program strengthens private sector case management and surveillance

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Voices From The Front Line: Reported Malaria Awareness And Practices Among Employees At Worksites In High Burden Malaria Districts In Vietnam

Malaria transmission in Vietnam is highest in rural, forest areas

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Costing Malaria Surveillance Systems and Mobile Reporting for Private Sector Providers in Cambodia, Lao PDR and Myanmar: Is it Affordable?

National Malaria Control Programs (NMCPs) in the Greater Mekong Subregion

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GEMS 2017 Annual Report

PSI’s GEMS program strengthens private sector case management and surveillance

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