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PMI Impact Malaria's 2021 Year in Review

PMI Impact Malaria (IM) is the flagship global service delivery project of the U.S. President's Malaria Initiative (PMI), providing global technical leadership to fight malaria and save lives. IM supports countries in their efforts to strengthen malaria diagnosis, treatment, and drug-based prevention in health facility and community settings through implementation and technical support, as well as operational research. 

In the project’s fourth year, IM operated in 18 countries across Africa and Asia and supported USAID’s Bureaus for Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) and Africa. 

This year's World Malaria Report shows that although COVID-19 disrupted malaria services and impacted elimination progress, the projected worst-case scenario of a doubling of malaria deaths was avoided. This was largely due to the leadership of endemic-countries to adapt malaria prevention campaigns and treatment services to ensure care continued to reach Sara*. PMI Impact Malaria (IM) countries showcased this leadership by adapting to remote mentoring and developing e-learning modules for health providers to continue improving their quality of malaria services during lockdowns. 

Since the beginning of the IM project, that resilience and commitment to success is clearly reflected in our recent Mid-term Performance Evaluation Report from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). “The project’s performance is outstanding” reads the report. “IM enjoys an excellent reputation among in-country partners as a collaborative and cooperative malaria partner.” 

Nurses at New Maforki Health Centre in Port Loko, Sierra Leone on 10th August 2021. Photo Credit: Mwangi Kirubi, PMI Impact Malaria

This is a snapshot of country-driven achievements that IM supported during the past year: 

  • Supported national malaria control programs (NMCPs) in Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Niger, and Mali reached more than five million children through seasonal malaria chemoprevention campaigns (SMC) ahead of and during the heavy rainy season when malaria transmission is highest. Building on lessons learned from 2020 to protect health workers and families against COVID-19 transmission and by conducting independent household surveys, we were able to adjust month-to-month to improve the campaigns in real time. This resulted in an additional one million children being protected this year.   
  • Trained 360 health providers to become Outreach, Training, and Supportive Supervision Plus (OTSS+) supervisors in Cameroon, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Madagascar, and Sierra Leone. This year, IM has also supported 3,833 OTSS+ visits in 2,715 health facilities across the 11 countries we partner on this approach and helped update their malaria case management and malaria in pregnancy guidelines and training curricula to align with global policies and best practices. 
  • Supported COVID-19 response in Cameroon, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Ghana by integrating infection prevention and control, personal protection measures and biosafety into the malaria clinical and laboratory OTSS+ checklists, as well as the clinical assessment, management, and triage of suspected COVID-19 cases at front-line facilities. 
  • Improved malaria microscopy skills and ability of laboratory technicians to accurately read malaria rapid diagnostics tests in 12 countries by conducting basic and advanced malaria diagnostics refresher trainings. These trainings help expand the network of experts that can quickly and accurately diagnose malaria from a lab sample so that health providers can provide the right treatment at the right time to their patients.   
  • Towards our operational research, we’ve made progress on studying the accuracy and reliability of a new point-of-care test for G6PD deficiency in Cambodia; overseeing mass drug administration (MDA) in Senegal; monitoring the effectiveness of Group Antenatal Care (ANC) and ANC surveillance in Benin and Enhanced ANC services in Mali; and we’ve supported the planning and implementation of Therapeutic Efficacy Studies (TES) to better understand regional resistance to Plasmodium falciparum (p.falciprum) in eight countries in Africa and for radical cure treatment of Plasmodium vivax (p.vivax) in Latin America and the Caribbean.  
  • At IM Headquarters, we’ve also been busy finalizing the standard OTSS+ checklists finalized drafting guidance while launching an independent evaluation on our OTSS+ approach to understand strengths and opportunities for improvement; developing and piloting competency-based integrated community care management (iCCM) supervision checklists for community health workers to help them broaden their reach in their communities; developing an internship curriculum for community health workers to implement quality improvement approaches; and inputting core indicator data for all OTSS+ rounds into the Data Hub. 

Fatmata Saukoh (26 years) waits to be served at Petifu Junction Health Centre, Port Loko, Sierra Leone on 9th August 2021. Fatmata is a trader with four children and lives in Loko Masama Chiefdom. Photo Credit: Mwangi Kirubi, PMI Impact Malaria

Header caption:  Boussoura Marie (35 years) and her 8-month-old son wait to be attended at the Balaza Alcali Health Centre, Far North Region, Cameroon, on 22nd September 2021. Photo Credit: Mwangi Kirubi, PMI Impact Malaria

Read IM's latest blog posts to learn more about the human impact of IM’s country-driven work. 

 

Sara is PSI's archetypal consumer in the countries where PSI works. She deserves voice, choice, and agency when meeting her healthcare needs, and those of her family. Sara may be an adolescent, young mother, older woman — or even a Sam.

PMI Impact Malaria is funded and technically assisted by the U.S. President's Malaria Initiative (PMI) and is led by Population Services International (PSI) in partnership with JhpiegoMedical Care Development International (MCDI), and the Malaria Elimination Initiative (MEI) at UC San Francisco. 

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