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.
Using SMC outside of the Sahel
- Symposium 132: Effectiveness and efficacy of chemoprevention for children under five:
- Malaria in older children and adolescents and the intermittent preventive treatment of malaria in school-aged children
- Seasonal malaria chemoprevention effectiveness in Northern Mozambique: Results from a cluster-randomised controlled trial
- Rapid assessments for the deployment of seasonal malaria chemoprevention in new geographies of East and southern Africa
- Chemoprevention options from seasonal malaria chemoprevention non-eligible areas: Experiences from Nigeria
- Presentation 5688: A cluster randomised controlled non-inferiority trial to evaluate the protective effectiveness of sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine-amodiaquine (SPAQ) and dihydroartemisinin-piperaquine (DHAPQ) for SMC among children 3 to 59 months, in the context of high antifolate and aminoquinoline resistance, Karamoja region, Uganda
- Presentation 7240: SMC effectiveness in northern Mozambique: Results from a cluster Randomised Control Trial (cRCT)
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.
Antimalarial drug resistance
- Poster 5359: Molecular markers of sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine-amodiaquine (SPAQ) resistance in the health district of Boussé, Burkina Faso
- Poster 6046: Molecular surveillance of sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine-amodiaquine (SPAQ) resistance markers in northeastern Uganda
- Poster 6051: The impact of SMC on Plasmodium falciparum resistance to sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine-amodiaquine (SPAQ) in northern Mozambique
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.
SMC effectiveness, coverage and quality, community engagement and protocols to assess efficacy
- Poster 6777: Development and evaluation of a novel protocol to assess the chemoprevention efficacy of SMC using sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine-amodiaquine (SPAQ) in an area of high antimalarial drug resistance in Nampula, Mozambique
- Poster 6903: Quasi-experimental study to estimate the effectiveness of SMC in South Sudan
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.
- Poster 5491: Community leadership in SMC: Engaging communities in northern Mozambique
- Poster 6183: Caregiver knowledge and confidence in SMC effectiveness in Nigeria
- Poster 6200: The role of community distributors in ensuring the quality delivery of SMC delivery in Nigeria
- Poster 6201: Perceived factors impacting community health workers and lead mothers’ capacity to support SMC across delivery settings: Qualitative secondary analysis from recent studies in Mozambique, Nigeria, South Sudan and Uganda
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.
Data analysis and use
- Poster 5497: Assessing age compliance during SMC in nine states in Nigeria
- Poster 6136: Analysing age-related trends in routine data through transmission modelling during SMC implementation in Burkina Faso
- Poster 6204: Assessing the impact of extending SMC from four to five monthly cycles in Burkina Faso
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]