Funded by: US Agency for International Development Regional Development Mission for Asia (USAID RDMA)
Project Duration: 2011 to present
Countries: Cambodia, Thailand, Myanmar (Burma)Geographic Focus:
Greater Mekong Sub-region
Save the Children Myanmar and Kenan Institute Asia (K.I.Asia) (subcontractors)
This project aims to contain the spread of multi-drug resistant Plasmodium falciparum (P. falciparum) malaria in the Greater Mekong Sub-region. P. falciparum is the most common and the most deadly parasite that causes malaria in humans. The best available treatment, particularly for P. falciparum malaria, is artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT). While direct evidence of resistance to ACT for P. falciparum malaria has not yet been reported, regional Ministries of Health have observed that an increasing number of patients with uncomplicated P. falciparum malaria are no longer responding to treatment with ACT as expected.
A second challenge is the quality of treatment: self-medication and poor treatment, particularly in the unregulated private sector, make it increasingly difficult to ensure proper drug use. Counterfeit and substandard antimalarial medications – which can cause death, undermine confidence in malaria treatment, and increase drug resistance – are also highly prevalent.