In addition to working to prevent disease and illness, Malaria Consortium focuses much of its attention on finding ways to improve management of cases in the community and in public and private health facilities at all levels of care.
Diagnosis is a crucial component of case management, ensuring appropriate treatment of patients and the effective use of resources.
Malaria Consortium works particularly at the point-of-care stage to ensure that patients are assessed accurately and provided with the appropriate diagnostic tools by trained health workers.
We help train health workers to improve their skills on differentiating between common diseases, often with very similar symptoms but requiring different treatment. For malaria case management we provide support for the two main routine diagnostic methods: microscopy and malaria rapid diagnostic tests (mRDTs). mRDTs are the most cost effective method in low-resource settings without a laboratory or medically trained staff. This makes them ideal for use at the community level.
We are also investigating other diagnostic methods, involving molecular biology such as polymerase chain reaction (PCR), loop mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) and non-invasive techniques, for their ability to detect low numbers of malaria parasites in field and routine settings, particularly in parts of Southeast Asia where elimination of the disease is a real possibility.
We also work closely with regulatory authorities in countries to establish mechanisms for quality assurance which ensure that all types of tests used are of the highest quality.
Treatment with appropriate quality-assured drugs should follow proper diagnosis. Malaria Consortium works at both the facility and community levels to improve care through capacity strengthening and introducing development and training programmes to support facility and community health workers.