Malaria Consortium works together with the private sector to improve health outcomes in countries across Africa and Asia. Private sector healthcare providers are crucial to this process due to the high number of everyday interactions they have with the populations we serve, both in terms of vending essential supplies as well as providing a conduit for key innovation and sustainable approaches.
The first area of collaboration is health product market shaping, where we work with stakeholders along the value chain to enhance sales and procurement of mosquito nets through private outlets. Taking into consideration our thorough understanding of market factors, we have provided packaged interventions that respond to changing local needs and experiences over time. For example, our strategy of intervening in the net market in Nigeria started out with a focus on capacity strengthening for procurement, distribution, brand advertising, as well as consumer price support. However, after several years of implementation, it evolved into using the ‘making markets work for the poor’ approach. This focused on understanding why markets worked, how they are currently organised, and how they could be influenced to work for the poor. A similar approach has also been used for other health products and commodities, including rapid diagnostic tests.
Other areas of our work include improvements to the quality of care for malaria and other febrile illnesses through different types of private service delivery points. We have engaged with private sector health providers to increase demand for quality assured malaria rapid diagnostic tests (mRDTs) and artemisinin combination therapies (ACTs) through the ‘four Ps’ indirect marketing approach. This approach aims to ensure the availability of the right product at the right price and placement, accompanied by the right health promotion messages. In addition to supporting retail and other service delivery outlets to sell commodities at affordable prices, supportive interventions such as training on case management and mRDT procedures, waste management and supervision have been carried out to enable better diagnosis and treatment of febrile illnesses.
We are also working extensively, in collaboration with other partners through a UNITAID-funded project, to ensure an adequate and sustainable supply of drugs for seasonal malaria chemoprevention, an intervention recommended by the World Health Organization for young children at risk of malaria during the rainy season in the Sahel region of sub-Saharan Africa.
Lastly, we have provided guidance to extractive industries and other private sector actors working in malaria endemic areas of the Asia-Pacific on how to minimise the negative impact of malaria transmission and prevent cases among their employees.