GEMS Program Launches New Malaria Elimination Resource Site

By Justin Kong, Malaria Fellow, PSI

Countries in the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) have brought down the number of malaria cases in the region over recent years, but we may be losing the very tools that gave us big rewards. Drugs and insecticides used to fight malaria are losing their effectiveness and the importance of surveillance to eliminate malaria in the GMS is becoming increasingly clear.

PSI’s Greater Mekong Subregion Elimination of Malaria through Surveillance (GEMS) program has launched a new online hub to share knowledge and resources, progress, lessons learned, and ultimately the impact surveillance and working in the private sector can have on malaria elimination in the region.

GEMS brings together PSI’s longstanding experience working with the private sector in the region, malaria achievements globally, innovative and user-friendly technological tools, a solid logistics infrastructure, strategic partnerships and new thinking in disease surveillance.

Why the private sector?

Between 40 to 70 percent of the population in Southeast Asia first seek health care in the private sector, which is why it is crucial that private sector outlets are able to effectively test for malaria, and are stocked with the right drugs in order to provide correct treatment. GEMS works with the private sector by training and supporting diverse private sector outlets to correctly test, treat and report malaria cases in Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar and Vietnam. In the first half of 2017 alone, GEMS supported more than 20,000 private sector outlets, who provided over 450,000 malaria tests. Through these efforts, nearly 12,000 malaria cases were identified, correctly treated and reported into the national surveillance system.

What you can access on the new resource site:

  • Malaria Resources – Groundbreaking reports from PSI staff and partners
  • Impact Statistics – Malaria tests and cases detected, treated and reported by the private sector
  • Impact Map – Visual graphics of learnings and results by country
  • Tools & Technology – Updates on successful mHealth applications

In addition, representatives from PSI’s teams in the GMS will be sharing research findings and other insights at the Annual Meeting of the American Society of Tropical Medicine & Hygiene (ASTMH) from November 5-9 in Baltimore. Presentations and posters will be available on the GEMS resource site and will feature reports, surveillance bulletins, emerging learnings and other stories from the field.

Malaria needs to be eliminated before it is too late for Asia, and before resistance spreads to Africa where malaria continues to take hundreds of thousands of lives every year.

To learn more about GEMS and its impact, please visit www.psi.org/GEMS.