In 2015, the ACTwatch project expanded its presence in the Greater Mekong Sub-Region to address the critical and immediate need for antimalarial market evidence to inform and monitor malaria elimination efforts in the region.
The emergence of malaria parasites resistant to artemisinin in the Greater Mekong Sub-Region (GMS) is a serious threat to the recent gains and current ambitions for eliminating Plasmodium falciparum in the region. With funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, ACTwatch will conduct it’s fourth outlet survey in Cambodia (2009, 2011, 2013 now 2015) and expand the fourth sub-national outlet survey in Myanmar (2012, 2013, 2014 now 2015) to a nation-wide assessment. For the first time outlet surveys will be conducted in Laos, Thailand and Vietnam providing a snap shot of the antimalarials available in these markets.
A new supply chain survey component is also being implemented in all the countries to address undocumented distribution channels of oral artemisinin monotherapy. This new information will be important for monitoring and informing strategies to ensure that antimalarial markets are operating in line with national policies, guidelines, and regulations, given the ban on the importation or distribution of oral artemisinin monotherapy across most of the GMS.