Adapting Private Sector Surveillance Strategies from the Greater Mekong Sub-Region to High Burden Settings


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Despite global recommendations that surveillance systems should capture malaria case data from both private and public sectors, the integration of private sector data into national systems remains a challenge for NMCPs in high burden settings. Between 2015 and 2019, through the Bill & Melinda Gates-funded Greater Mekong Sub-region Elimination of Malaria through Surveillance (GEMS) program, PSI supported private sector providers in Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar and Vietnam to test, treat, and report malaria cases into national surveillance systems. Key components of success for the GEMS program involved comprehensive support to providers that included training, supervising, monitoring, and motivating them; maintaining an active register of those providers; ensuring availability of sub-national staff to support collection of forms; supervising and monitoring of quality data entry; allowing a flexible approach to reporting mechanisms that work within the existing systems; and leveraging previous work with private sector providers that built trust and established networks. These learnings can be applied to high burden settings. . Identifying and treating more cases earlier has the potential to accelerate the transition from control to elimination. High-burden countries can learn from experiences in the GMS and develop strategies appropriate to their own country contexts in order to accelerate the pathway to elimination. Key learnings from GEMS translate to the following recommendations: Ministries of Health should begin engagement with private-sector providers early, mechanisms for accreditation should be established where possible, budget for the comprehensive support that’s needed, and identify cost-savings through the leveraging of expanded digital and mobile technologies.