Malaria is considered a major public health problem in Uganda and is the national leading cause of morbidity and mortality among children under age five. The national malaria treatment guidelines adopted in 2012 recommend that all suspected malaria cases receive confirmation by a blood test using microscopy or malaria rapid diagnostic tests (RDT). The first-line treatment for uncomplicated malaria is the artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT) artemether-lumefantrine (AL). Alternative first-line treatments include any nationally-registered ACT that has been recommended by the World Health Organization and the Ministry of Health.
The Ugandan National Malaria Control Strategy relies on a set of proven interventions for prevention and case management to effectively reduce the malaria burden. These include training and equipping facility-based and community based health workers to provide malaria testing and appropriate treatment. Community-based approaches to improving malaria case management coverage have been implemented for several years in Uganda. In recent years this approach has integrated management of common childhood illnesses under integrated community case management (ICCM) delivered by Village Health Team (VHT) volunteers. The VHT ICCM kit includes malaria rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs), AL, and rectal artesunate for pre-referral treatment of severe malaria.
Uganda was one of the participating malaria-endemic countries in the Affordable Medicines Facility, malaria (AMFm) pilot program. The AMFm aimed to improve the availability and affordability of quality-assured ACT (QAACT) and reduce the availability and use of antimalarial monotherapies including non-artemisinin monotherapies such as SP and quinine. Firstline buyers in the public and private sectors had access to Global Fund co-paid ACTs from 2011-2013.