A new case study from north-eastern Cambodia, published by Malaria Consortium in Malaria Journal, has underlined the need for tailored active case detection approaches in forest border areas in order to further plasmodium falciparum malaria elimination.
The study, which took place as a part of the second Regional Artemisinin-resistance Initiative (RAI2E) programme, highlighted the benefits of tailoring malaria responses to local populations, implementing close supervision practices and maintaining operational flexibility in order to allow proactive and reactive detection of malaria cases.
Despite operational challenges, the study concluded that effective malaria prevention, testing and treatment in hard-to-reach communities by active case detection through mobile outreach activities and mobile malaria testing posts, were key to the reduction of falciparum malaria cases. The study also noted the rising prominence of vivax malaria, even as cases of falciparum malaria fell and advocated for greater focus on vivax cases in the future.
Malaria Consortium’s Programme Manager in Cambodia, Lieven Vernaeve said: “Forest goers, mobile and migrant populations are most at risk of contracting malaria. Their seasonal mobility and the nature of their activities in remote forested areas along the northern border of Cambodia limits their access to regular health services. Delivering tailored malaria services, driven by and from within the community has, in the last three years, strongly contributed to the likelihood of achieving countrywide elimination of plasmodium falciparum by 2023.”
The second Regional Artemisinin-resistance Initiative (RAI2E) programme was funded by The Global Fund and sought to improve existing malaria prevention and control services and build the technical and programme management skills of provincial health department, operational district and health centre staff in northern Cambodia. This work will continue through the Regional Artemisinin-resistance Initiative 3 Elimination (RAI3E) project.