Transforming the Private Sector to Support Universal Malaria Diagnostic Coverage


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Despite significant reductions in malaria in endemic countries over the past decade, fever is still often equated with malaria, leading to overuse of artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT), the frontline treatment for malaria. Considering this challenge, in 2010, the World Health Organization (WHO) recommended that every suspected malaria case be confirmed with parasitological-based testing using either microscopy or malaria Rapid Diagnostic Tests (mRDTs). Gains in mRDTs have been seen in the public sector, however gaps remain in the private sector.

In response, PSI and partners conducted a three-year project between 2013 and 2016 to increase the uptake of quality-assured mRDTs in private-sector markets in Kenya, Madagascar, Nigeria, Tanzania, and Uganda. By taking a market development approach to identifying market failures and generating solutions, market landscape was conducted in each country to identify constraints in the market systems.

Designed as the largest operations research project in fever case management (FCM) globally, the UNITAID-funded project generated evidence and lessons learned on how to stimulate a private-sector market for mRDTs. Over 44 studies were conducted by three partners, and routine monitoring systems collected data from 3,400 enrolled outlets, ranging from hospital clinics to pharmacies to drug shops. Download the resource to learn more.