Cambodia is the epicenter of the battle against drug resistant Plasmodium falciparum (Pf) malaria, and MalariaCare has been working closely with the government to support the fight. The war may be won, or lost, in the private sector because most Cambodians use this sector to deal with presumed malaria infection. Large fruit, sugar cane and rubber plantations often provide basic health services for their employees, and also often are placed in forest-fringe areas where workers and their families are at particularly high risk for Pf infection. Consequently, failing to work with the sector would cripple efforts at Pf malaria control in the regions with drug resistance.
MalariaCare’s activities in Cambodia aim to:
- Ensure that basic malaria test and treat protocols are followed in the private sector – both in company clinics and in retail drug outlets.
- Improve private sector malaria case management QA data collection through transition to an electronic data format. This system is designed to improve data use both locally and by the National Malaria Control Program.
Improving diagnostic and treatment capacity. MalariaCare is supporting Cambodia’s efforts to ensure that private sector patients receive the best care by routinely assessing the quality of services in the private sector and intervening as necessary. Using set protocols and standard operating procedures, MalariaCare conducts supportive supervision visits to public and private providers at plantation clinics across eight provinces. Providers receive support to build their skills in taking patient histories and probing for danger signs, correctly administering rapid diagnostic tests, providing appropriate treatment based on test results, and ensuring accurate reporting of patient data.
Streamlining information systems. To ensure that Cambodia’s National Malaria Control Program has access to live data from the private sector to monitor program performance and identify implementation issues, MalariaCare has helped consolidate multiple data collection systems into a single, user friendly management information system in line with existing national platforms. The system allows decision makers to track key data points in real time, including provider performance assessments, information about what strain of malaria patients have, indicators of resistance to anti-malarial drugs and availability of malaria diagnostics and medicines. The new system improves both coordination and data-sharing among the Ministry of Health and health facilities at the district level.