In the Greater Mekong Sub-region (GMS) in Southeast Asia, malaria remains a problem in high risk areas, particularly along international borders and among migrant and mobile populations. Despite efforts to reduce the region’s malaria burden, the spread of drug resistance is still a constant threat. Access to reliable information is crucial for tracking the progress of malaria control, responding rapidly to outbreaks and avoiding the consequences of spreading drug resistance.
In 2008, Malaria Consortium began a five-year partnership with the President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI)/Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The project supports countries and partners in the GMS (Cambodia, Thailand, Myanmar, Vietnam, Lao PDR, and Yunnan Province in China) to put in place a robust and reliable evidence base, which is continuously updated and used by the countries to improve their malaria surveillance and control strategies. It is also designed to help them to mobilise resources.
Tools and strategies for monitoring, evaluation, and surveillance have been developed and tested to facilitate lesson sharing across the GMS and to support the following:
Monitoring & Evaluation (M&E)
Provide technical assistance for M&E to country programmes and partners to adapt the Mekong Regional M&E framework and developing new tools and approaches where needed.
Strengthen surveillance by developing efficient, timely systems for ongoing information management and feedback.
Improve our understanding of barriers for hard-to-reach, vulnerable populations. Also to evaluate new diagnostic tools and strategies to locate hard-to-find parasites in an effort to contain and eliminate resistant strains of Plasmodium falciparum.
Key achievements of the project:
Read about IMMERSE project launched in 2013 here.
- Supported training for village and migrant malaria workers to use rapid diagnostic tests, treat malaria and conduct behaviour change communication activities. The programme also organised partner workshops to harmonise health messages targeted towards migrant, mobile and refugee populations, and established border checkpoints to screen for malaria parasites.
- Provided technical support to partners to incorporate the regional M&E framework into national plans for monitoring and evaluation, developed standardised tools for data collection, management, analysis and use, and updated survey tools for low malaria transmission settings and elimination.
- Piloted a number of malaria surveillance projects, including rapid assessments of surveillance systems, updating risk stratification and disease maps, and developing cross-border bulletins to share information between partners and countries. Malaria Consortium also worked with STEDD, a software developer, to create an SMS system to track ‘day 3’ positive cases in Cambodia.
- Developed strategies to evaluate approaches to malaria elimination, conducted a rapid assessment of Malaria in Pregnancy (MiP) policies, training curricula and field observations in the GMS, and contributed to outbreak investigations at national and sub-national levels in Lao PDR.
- Undertook a feasibility scoping visit in Myanmar for insecticide treated materials.
- Supported the Regional Training Workshop on the M&E curriculum in collaboration with the Asian Collaborative Training Network for Malaria (ACT Malaria Foundation, Inc.) and other partners; contributed to Managing Malaria Field Operations (MMFO) curriculum refinement; and provided support to the Vector Borne Disease Control Division (VBDC) in Myanmar to adapt M&E curriculum and conduct M&E training.