Elimination support in Laos
The overall goal of this project is to support the Lao PDR Center for Malariology, Parasitology, and Entomology (CMPE) to accelerate progress toward achieving the national goal of malaria elimination by 2030. The project is directed towards:
- Improving understanding of malaria epidemiology and elimination readiness in northern Lao PDR.
- Strengthening surveillance and response systems to detect and respond to malaria epidemics.
- Assisting CMPE and partners to design and iteratively refine multi-sectorial malaria elimination strategies.
Specific project activities include: trainings and technical support for data collection and analysis by health staff; field surveys to determine high-risk groups and risk factors; development and implementation of surveillance and rapid response systems to support rapid elimination; and operational research studies to understand local epidemiology and assess targeted case detection strategies.
A large randomized controlled trial is being implemented to evaluate the effectiveness, cost-effectiveness, acceptability, and feasibility of proactive targeted test-and-treat activities using highly-sensitive rapid diagnostic tests to reduce Plasmodium falciparum transmission among 1) village residents, and 2) mobile and migrant populations (MMPs) and other high-risk populations (HRPs), in Champasak Province, southern Lao PDR.
MTAT and FTAT, both utilizing HS-RDTs will be implemented and evaluated in an area of recent outbreaks in Champasak Province, Southern Lao PDR.
The MTAT intervention will be conducted at the village level, targeting the entire community, while the FTAT intervention will be conducted in forest fringe areas, targeting forest-workers. Using a community-randomized split-plot design, this study will assess the effectiveness of both MTAT and FTAT independently and in combination with one another, in comparison to routine public sector activities