Africa Malaria Partnership

Partnership objectives

  1. Mobilize communities to become the frontline in the fight against malaria through communication, cultural activities, village health days, and work with students and mothers’ groups.
  2. Train community health workers to improve their knowledge and ability to identify malaria in early stages so that it can be treated as quickly and effectively as possible. Community health workers complement government efforts in controlling malaria.
  3. Ensure targeted communities have access to effective malaria diagnosis and treatment services and nets (ITNs).
  4. Increase ITN ownership and use.

By embedding the projects and malaria focus in to the local governance structures, the projects take steps towards improving local capacity to manage health systems for the prevention and control of malaria. By embedding the projects and malaria focus in to the local governance structures, the projects take steps towards improving local capacity to manage health systems for the prevention and control of malaria. Copyright GlaxoSmithKline

What are the health needs and challenges?

Malaria is caused by parasites of the Plasmodium species, which are spread to people by mosquitoes carrying the parasites. If you are unlucky enough to get an infection, you can expect fever, shivering and vomiting. And if left untreated, it can lead to anaemia, seizures, coma and death.

The cause may be microscopic, but the problem it presents is huge. About half the world’s population is at risk from malaria, with the most infections occurring in sub-Saharan Africa.

Description of partnership activities and how they address needs and challenges

GSK offers its antimalarials at not-for-profit prices to public sector customers and not-for-profit organizations in low income countries. All Country Coordinating Mechanisms (CCM) projects fully funded by the Global Fund to Fight AIDS TB and Malaria are also eligible.

By embedding the project and malaria focus in to the local governance structures, the projects take steps towards improving local capacity to manage health systems for the prevention and control of malaria. It is important that Community Health Workers (CHWs) are well linked with village governments. To strengthen these linkages, partners conduct workshops in village to engage village leaders. This has resulted in improved support from village government. Additionally, the projects often work with local implementing partners to ensure stronger, more sustainable work with the communities.

The GSK Africa Malaria Partnership currently supports partnerships with non-governmental organisations to build the capacity of CHWs and encourage behaviour change. With a total commitment of £1.5 million over three years our current projects include:

  • Amref Health Africa in Mtwara Province, Tanzania: The project aims to train CHWs and mobilise communities to become frontline advocates in the fight against malaria.

  • FHI 360 in the Brong Ahafo Region of Ghana: Working with CHWs and household caregivers to encourage health seeking behaviours and community mobilisation, the project works to improve early recognition of malaria and provide access to appropriate treatment.

  • Save the Children in North East Province, Kenya: Through community campaigns, education, bed net distribution, and CHW training, the project has been working to reduce the malaria risk while improving access to primary health care for families in the Wajir district.

  • The Carter Centre in Plateau and Nasarawa States, Nigeria: Working with the Federal Ministry of Health, the Center is tackling malaria and lymphatic filariasis (LF) together through streamlined health messages, distribution of ITNs, and simplified planning and supervision.

GSK and its partners have also been developing what could be the world’s first vaccine to help protect children in Africa against malaria. The vaccine candidate RTS,S, also known as MosquirixTM, has been developed in partnership with PATH MVI, supported by grants from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. In July 2015, the European Medicines Agency’s Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use granted RTS,S a positive scientific opinion. This was followed in January 2016 by a position paper from the World Health Organization (WHO) that recommended large-scale pilot implementations of RTS,S in settings of moderate-to-high parasite transmission in Africa. The WHO confirmed in November 2016 that pilot programs will take place from 2018 in sub-Saharan Africa using GSK’s malaria vaccine RTS,S.

Lessons learned                            

Some lessons learned from the Africa Malaria Partnership projects in Ghana, Tanzania, Kenya and Nigeria:

  • Effective advocacy/mobilization of all stakeholders from the onset of the project contributes to project acceptance.
  • Working closely with District Health Management Teams helps ensure ownership of the project by the districts with the view to sustaining the activities of the project in the future.
  • Integration of additional projects, for example, safe motherhood and MNCH projects, has proven to be effective and efficient in reaching the target communities.
  • Strong community involvement encourages smooth implementation of the project.
  • Essential to have a risk management plan in place and come up with ready mitigating measures.
  • Creation of Mothers Against Malaria clubs has been a useful way of getting malaria awareness messages across to other members of the community.
  • Another common challenge that implementation partners faced were stock-outs of medicine and medical supplies. The projects have addressed this with proper and early planning and also building buffer stocks. To address the inadequate supply of treated bed nets by the government, partners procured bed nets for distribution by the local NGOs to the community while waiting for the stocks of from the Ministry of Health to be replenished. Partners have remained attuned to and aligned with the changing government healthcare policies and guidelines.
  • Reaching nomadic households and remote villages remains a challenge due to poor roads and/or regional insecurity and the high costs of conducting outreach work. Partners have responded to this challenge by training more CHWs. More health workers means that more vulnerable communities receive preventive services and treatment for malaria and other common childhood illnesses.

Summary of impact and forward looking information

Through GSK’s Africa Malaria Partnership (AMP), the company has committed over £4.8 million to community focused programs for the prevention and treatment of malaria. Since 2009, the AMP has partnered with community-based non-governmental organizations with a focus on building capacity of community health workers (CHWs) and encouraging behavioral change.

Videos

GSK's African Malaria Partnership

Partnership information

Company(ies) GlaxoSmithKline

Partner(s) African Medical and Research Foundation (AMREF), Family Health International, Planned Parenthood Federation of Nigeria, Save the Children

Type of Partner(s) NGOs

Therapeutic Focus Infectious Diseases, Neglected Tropical Diseases

Disease(s) Lymphatic Filariasis, Malaria

Program Type(s) Availability of Treatment - Differential Pricing, Health System Infrastructure - mHealth, Health System Infrastructure - Outreach & Medical Services, Health System Infrastructure - Provision of Insecticide Nets, Health System Infrastructure - Training, Prevention Programs - Awareness & Outreach

Targeted Population(s) Children, Marginalised / Indigenous People, Mothers, Patients in needs of treatment, People with low income, Women, Youth

Region(s) Sub-Saharan Africa

Number of Countries 4

Country(ies) Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Tanzania

Start Date 2001

More information GSK Health for All

Completed date 2016

« The idea is that from working together these two programs will achieve the goals of both diseases – elimination of malaria and elimination of lymphatic filariasis – more effectively and hopefully, cheaper and faster »

Dr. Frank Richards, director of the Carter Center's malaria and lymphatic filariasis programs