Malaria markets in the Greater Mekong Sub-Region: 2015-2016

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ACTwatch is a multi-country research project implemented by Population Services International (PSI). Standardized tools and approaches are employed to provide comparable data across countries and over time. ACTwatch is designed to provide timely, relevant, and high quality antimalarial and malaria diagnostic testing market intelligence, including information on artemisinin-based combination therapies (ACT), the most effective treatment for malaria. The project was launched in 2008 with funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF), and was funded through 2016 by the BMGF, UNITAID, and the Department for International Development (DFID). Research methods implemented include outlet and household surveys, supply chain studies, key informant interviews, and a module to document private sector fever case management practices using observation and client exit interviews.


The goal of the ACTwatch project is to provide policymakers with actionable evidence to inform and monitor national and global policy, strategy, and funding decisions for improving malaria case management and elimination efforts.


ACTwatch data provide timely and practical evidence for national malaria programs and their partners. The project monitors antimalarial markets in the context of policy shifts and investments in the scale-up of first-line ACT and blood testing using malaria rapid diagnostic tests (mRDT). This has included adaptation of project methods for the evaluation of the Affordable Medicines Facility-malaria (AMFm) pilot.

In the Greater Mekong Sub-Region (GMS), the evidence informs malaria control strategies focused on the containment of artemisinin resistance and malaria elimination in the region by 2030. The emergence of malaria parasites resistant to artemisinin in the GMS is a serious threat to the recent gains and current ambition of eliminating Plasmodium falciparum in the region. ACTwatch provides market intelligence regarding the performance of both the public and private sectors, as well as provider readiness to adhere to national treatment guidelines. This information is critical for identifying gaps and opportunities within each country context.