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QAP’s Methods for Malaria Case Management Emerge as Key Strategies

The Quality Assurance Project’s (QAP's) Vendor-to-Vendor (VTV) and Neighbor-to-Neighbor (NTN) interventions were recently offered as examples of successful efforts to improve case management of malaria in the private sector by QAP’s Steve Harvey, MHS, at a meeting sponsored by Roll Back Malaria (RBM), a global initiative made up of more than 90 partners. The meeting between representatives of 19 organizations from 7 countries was held in Accra, Ghana on May 26-27, 2004.

Mr. Harvey pointed to successful results produced by QAP’s VTV and NTN interventions, which sought to improve case management of malaria among different types of drug vendors and to help caregivers demand effective antimalarials from private sector vendors. VTV and NTN were two of fifteen different private-sector models presented at the meeting. The Vendor-to-Vendor effort—an innovative, cost-effective program which trained wholesale drug vendors in Kenya to communicate malaria guidelines to retail drug outlets—was developed in 2000 by QAP, the Bungoma (Kenya) District Health Management Team, and the African Medical and Research Foundation (AMREF). To further results produced by VTV, QAP spearheaded development of the Neighbor-to-Neighbor intervention, which uses village social networks to help consumers spread information about effective malaria treatment among their neighbors and friends, who then demand the correct drugs and spur local retailers to stock them. Paula Tavrow, Ph.D., former QAP Deputy Director of Operations Research and Waverly Rennie, MHS, Senior Behavior Change Consultant for University Research Co., LLC, spearheaded development, implementation, and evaluation of Vendor-to-Vendor and Neighbor-to-Neighbor.

“QAP participation in the meeting helped cement the role of both VTV and NTN as key strategies for improving private sector case management,” noted Mr. Harvey. Delegates discussed how to select the best elements from different approaches depending on local conditions and proposed strategies for combining short- and long-term approaches for integrating the private sector into malaria treatment efforts, especially for children under five years of age. Also discussed were challenges to working with the private sector with the introduction of Artemisinin-based Combination Therapy (ACT) and the need for national level controls on drug quality to protect consumers against counterfeit or sub-standard medications.

In a draft statement to the RBM malaria case management working group, meeting delegates noted the urgency of including private sector providers in national malaria treatment schemes and urged additional support for developing and scaling-up interventions like VTV and NTN. The meeting was organized by BASICS and the Malaria Consortium.

Further efforts to scale up QAP’s interventions in Kenya and to develop a more integrated model are planned in the coming months.

For more information on QAP interventions to improve case management of malaria, contact Steve Harvey at [email protected] or link to http://www.qaproject.org/oper/orinfec.html. The Operations Research Results Report entitled “Vendor to Vendor Education to Improve Malaria Treatment by Drug Outlets in Kenya” is available for download from this page.

 

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The Quality Assurance Project (QAP) is funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development
(USAID) under Contract Number GPH-C-00-02-00004-00.