ASTMH 2018: Session 151 “Accelerating Malaria Elimination Through Private Sector Engagement: Dynamic Strategies to Better Localize Cases to Test, Treat and Track in the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS)”



Published: 18/12/2018

MESA Correspondents bring you cutting-edge coverage from the 67th ASTMH Annual Meeting

Session 151: “Accelerating Malaria Elimination Through Private Sector Engagement: Dynamic Strategies to Better Localize Cases to Test, Treat and Track in the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) “

Dr Rabindra Abeyasinghe opened with a broad overview on the importance of complete and integrated public and private sector reporting into national surveillance systems for malaria elimination in the Greater Mekong Subregion. The presentation was focused on the WHO perspectives on how integrated reporting will help countries prepare for achieving elimination and subsequently prevent re-establishment of transmission.  Emphasis was placed on the need for national ownership and the use of open source software to support integrated platforms.

Dr. Kemi Tsfazghi shared the evolution of the Cambodia programme’s dynamic worksite strategies, initially conceived to address perceived elevated transmission on rubber plantations in close proximity to forested areas.  Mobile migrant populations moving on and off these sites were targeted for test, treat and track services through a number of community co-created interventions, and have evolved to a mixed and responsive set of interventions that can be customized to different settings, ranging from community engagement, to stationary worksite health workers offering case management services.

Jose Garcia Munoz built from the presentations of both Dr. Tesfazghi and Dr Abeyasinghe by presenting a case study on the integration of private sector data into national malaria surveillance systems, using recent developments in Lao PDR as a case study.  He clearly articulated the many ways in which technology supports the shift toward elimination-ready surveillance, while identifying some of the many challenges inherent in the development and adoption of a surveillance system like DHIS2.

Dr. Si Thu Thein concluded the session with a very detailed depiction of the contribution of the non-formal private sector in accelerating malaria elimination in Myanmar.  The talk carried participants through the reasons for working with the non-formal private sector, the market impact of such engagement, challenges with reliability of this channel, and finally a sharing of broad lessons learned.

The session provided a clear demonstration of both the necessity and complexity of engaging the private sector in elimination efforts across the GMS, articulating the criticality and challenge of multisectoral data integration, the importance of lateral thinking when it comes to engaging non-traditional private sector actors, efforts to strengthen surveillance systems with global tools like DHIS2, and the role of normative guidance in private sector efforts.  


Chair and Co-Chair: Dr. Jamie Eliades (PSI) and Abigail Pratt (Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation)


This report was written by Abigail Pratt with editorial support from Professor Graham Brown.

Published: 18/12/2018

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