Knowledge Note

The poor in many countries lack access to essential malaria diagnosis and treatment methods. One of the reasons is that many patients access malaria treatment through the private and informal sectors, where the availability of diagnostic tests and drugs can be limited and where prices for the recognized front line drugs (Artemisinin-based Combination Therapies or ACTs), are generally high. Strengthening the private sector role offers great potential in the fight against malaria. A number of countries including Tanzania, Kenya and Cambodia are piloting the provision of subsidized ACTs through the private sector1. Early findings indicate that subsidies can improve uptake, but the pilots are not conclusive and more analysis is needed to understand how to maximize uptake. In parallel there is research into strengthening the provision by private drugstores of rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs).This policy brief summarizes the evaluation findings of a program in Zambia which sought to enable the private sector to play a stronger role in malaria diagnosis and treatment. The main conclusion of the evaluation was that a well managed intervention can strengthen access to ACTs through the private sector whilst also reducing the use of ineffective antimalarials.

About the Presenters

Jed Friedman