Among the six countries that make up the Greater Mekong Subregion, the malaria burden is highest in Burma, where it remains a leading cause of morbidity and mortality. Seasonal migrant workers, farmers, and those working in the logging, mining, and construction industries are most at risk. Approximately 62 percent of the population lives in malaria-risk areas.
With the emergence of antimalarial drug resistance (especially along border areas), MalariaCare, through PSI/Myanmar, works closely with Burma’s National Malaria Control Program and Vector Borne Diseases Control Program to support implementation of the country’s National Strategic Framework for Artemisinin Resistance Containment at the local level. This work is being implemented through support to the Sun social franchise network, a network of licensed private-sector general practitioners who serve low-income clients in malaria-endemic townships.
Activities in Burma aim to:
- Improve the accuracy of diagnostic testing for malaria to greater than 90 percent.
- Increase the percentage of patients suspected to have malaria or febrile illnesses who receive a diagnostic test for malaria.
- Increase the percentage of patients who receive appropriate treatment for malaria or other febrile illnesses, consistent with the result of the diagnostic test.
- Strengthen laboratory systems for detecting malaria and other infectious diseases.
Improving and expanding case management capacity at the local level. MalariaCare works to support Sun network health workers to build their malaria testing and treatment skills using malaria rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) and treating confirmed cases according to national guidelines. They are also trained to explain test results to clients and to provide instructions on how to take drugs correctly and the importance of completing malaria treatment to ensure the best quality of care and reduce the threat of drug resistance. For complicated or severe malaria cases, providers refer patients to appropriate network clinics or to government hospitals as needed. To ensure high quality of care, accurate reporting, and a consistent supply of commodities within the network, the project supports monitoring and on-site supportive supervision for network providers. The project is training health providers to test approximately 136,800 fever cases using RDTs. The goal is to improve diagnostic services closer to where patients live, so that appropriate treatment can be provided.
Strengthening malaria commodity delivery channels. As drug stock-outs remain a key challenge in Burma, the project also provides logistical support to distribute high-quality antimalarial drugs where they are most needed—including among private-sector health providers in hard-to-reach areas. Special, intensified support is provided to remote townships where supply chains are prone to disruption and where populations are most at risk for malaria (forest and border areas).
Download Burma country fact sheet (pdf K)