PMI Impact Malaria

Diagnosis and Treatment


Malaria is a life-threatening disease caused by parasites transmitted to humans through the bite of an infected female Anopheles mosquito. It is both preventable and curable, yet in 2018 there were an estimated 228 million cases of malaria worldwide and 405,000 deaths.  

Early diagnosis and timely treatment are the cornerstones of malaria control. PMI Impact Malaria (IM) supports the World Health Organization (WHO) guidance that calls for universal diagnostic testing and rapid treatment with a recommended antimalarial drug only when a test is positive.

Malaria diagnosis is performed by using rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) or by examining a blood smear under a microscope. WHO recommends artemisinin-based combination therapies (ACTs), which contain an artemisinin-based drug combined with another effective antimalarial, for the treatment of uncomplicated malaria. 


  • Kenya's Community Health Volunteers Turn the Tide Against Malaria on Lake Victoria PMI Impact Malaria Blog Post
  • Diagnosis and Treatment Photos PMI Impact Malaria Photo Album

IM currently supports national malaria control programs (NMCPs) across 13 countries to scale-up and strengthen diagnostic testing for malaria to ensure that all patients with malaria are properly identified and receive a quality-assured ACT in health facilities and at the community level. IM conducts this work through a focus on: 

  • Outreach Training and Supportive Supervision Plus (OTSS+), a new approach of supportive supervision at the facility level that uses standard automated checklists centered on continuous improvement of the competencies of health providers in malaria diagnosis and treatment. 

  • Integrated community case management (iCCM) of malaria, pneumonia, and diarrhea through training, supervising, and supporting thousands of community health workers. 

  • Digital tools to improve data collection, quality, and use to examine health provider performance and make evidence-based decisions. 

  • Operational research to evaluate and improve diagnostic and treatment interventions. For instance, examining whether proactive case detection and treatment by community health workers in Zambia reduces malaria more than passive community case management does. Or, in Senegal, determining how mass drug administration plus a low-dose antimalarial compares with a more standard prevention approach. 


This is PMI Impact Malaria’s geographic coverage of country-driven diagnosis and treatment activities:



Photo Caption: Laboratory Technologist Caren Cherotich uses a microscope to examine samples at Ahero County Hospital in Kisumu, Kenya. Photo Credit: Mwangi Kirubi, PMI Impact Malaria

Sources: PMI Diagnosis and Treatment Technical Area PageWHO Malaria Fact Sheet