Between 2016 and 2019, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation-funded GMS Elimination of Malaria through Surveillance (GEMS) program, implemented by Population Services International (PSI), supported national malaria programs (NMPs) in Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, and Vietnam to execute elimination strategies by engaging the private sector in malaria case management, reporting, testing and case identification numbers, and integrating these data points into national surveillance systems.
GEMS enrolled nearly 22,000 private sector outlets, covering up to 80% of the private sector in targeted geographies, which were trained and equipped to perform rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) and report malaria case data. By 2019, the diverse network of private providers tested over 3.5 million suspected cases and reported over 96,000 confirmed malaria cases into national surveillance systems, representing 8-25% of the national caseload in these countries. Thus, demonstrating that with comprehensive support, such as training, provision of free or subsidized RDTs, first-line treatments, and routine supportive supervision, private providers can provide quality malaria case management and achieve high reporting rates.
A recent publication on the GEMS program in the American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene presents case studies in Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, and Vietnam, which describe approaches to integrating the private sector into national surveillance systems and present results of private sector surveillance activities in those countries.