SMC has been used successfully in the Sahel region of West and Central Africa and has been shown to be 75 percent effective in preventing uncomplicated and severe malaria during this high-risk period. In 2022, the WHO issued its updated Guidelines for Malaria, giving malaria-endemic countries more flexibility to develop malaria prevention and control strategies in line with their local contexts. This opens the possibility of expanding SMC to areas of East and southern Africa (ESA) where malaria transmission is seasonal.
In 2023, we expect to carry out a rapid assessment in an area of Mozambique where SMC is not yet being implemented. We are also planning for rapid assessments in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Malawi, where SMC has never been tested as an intervention. The rapid assessments will involve ‘light’ versions of research methods used in our recent SMC implementation studies in Mozambique, Uganda and South Sudan, designed to provide evidence on the potential impact of SMC in these new geographies quickly.