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This year, Malaria Consortium proudly marks its 20th anniversary. Since its inception in 2003, our organisation has collaborated with governments and partners across Africa and Asia focusing on malaria and other targeted diseases. Our mission is not only to combat those diseases, through prevention and control, but also to conduct groundbreaking research and help to strengthen health systems to move the needle closer to both disease elimination and the goal of universal health coverage.

At the start of Malaria Consortium’s second decade, we played a leading role in piloting, scaling and sustaining seasonal malaria chemoprevention (SMC) — a critical malaria prevention tool — following the World Health Organization (WHO) recommendation of the intervention in 2012. In the intervening eleven years, we are enormously proud to have led efforts to ensure that this highly effective health programme is optimally and contextually delivered, undertaking high-quality implementation and operational research that provides robust evidence for programme staff, ministries of health and partners to make informed decisions about its delivery.

This week, at the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene’s Annual Meeting (#TropMed23) in Chicago, Malaria Consortium will celebrate its journey through the past 20 years alongside many of our partners. During the week, we will also showcase results and sharing insights from our latest research on SMC across more than twenty presentations in addition to hosting a symposium.

Building the evidence base for the use of SMC outside of the Sahel

New consolidated Guidelines for Malaria were issued by WHO in June 2022 which provided more flexibility to malaria-endemic countries to adapt malaria prevention and control strategies to the local context. This flexibility has enabled governments outside of the Sahel region, where SMC has historically been implemented, to explore the addition of SMC to national malaria prevention strategies.

Malaria Consortium has been conducting a body of research on the feasibility, acceptability and effectiveness of SMC in new geographies to help provide the local evidence national malaria programmes require to make informed decisions about the use and scale-up of SMC in their countries.

Through the symposium, “Effectiveness and efficacy of chemoprevention for children under five”, Malaria Consortium experts will discuss the role SMC can play as a chemoprevention tool beyond its traditional geography alongside other chemoprevention tools such as intermittent preventive treatment of malaria in school-aged children (IPTsc) and perennial malaria chemoprevention (PMC). Exciting findings from Malaria Consortium’s implementation research in Uganda and Mozambique will also be presented in scientific sessions.

Across a number of poster and oral presentations, Malaria Consortium experts will also present the latest findings from other research projects in Mozambique, Uganda and South Sudan covering topics including SMC effectiveness, coverage and quality, community engagement and perceptions of SMC in new areas and the evaluation of novel protocols to assess chemoprevention efficacy.

SMC has not historically been used as a malaria prevention tool in East and southern Africa due to concerns over drug resistance. Malaria Consortium experts will present additional analyses on this topic, including the impact of Plasmodium falciparum resistance to SMC medicines in Mozambique, the use of molecular surveillance of resistance markers in Uganda and Burkina Faso, the latter offering further insight into drug resistance in a country that has been implementing SMC for many years.

The role of community distributors, caregivers and lead mothers

As SMC medicines reach their destination after a long journey, the success of the intervention comes down to dedicated teams of community distributors working with caregivers to ensure eligible children receive the medicines in a safe and timely way. Malaria Consortium experts will present insights from communities in Nigeria on the role of community distributors in the quality delivery of SMC, the confidence and knowledge levels of caregivers in the effectiveness of SMC and the capacity of community distributors and lead mothers to SMC delivery.

Improving SMC through data analysis and use

SMC is implemented at a huge scale across Africa. This results in banks of data, held by national and state malaria programmes, which can be analysed to understand the impact of the intervention and how it can be improved. Malaria Consortium experts will be present several case studies in this area from Burkina Faso and Nigeria.


You can view dates, times and locations of all Malaria Consortium’s sessions at the ASTMH Annual Meeting in our schedule

All presentations made by Malaria Consortium at the ASTMH Annual Meeting will be made available for download on the dedicated Malaria Consortium at ASTMH 2023 webpage

If you would like to know more about Malaria Consortium’s SMC work, or to set up a meeting with one of our team at the ASTMH Annual Meeting, please email [email protected]