CONTAINMENT

contain + eliminate = no parasite

ERAR launches technical working groups on surveillance monitoring and evaluation and advocacy and communications

leave a comment »

As malaria incidence declines in the region, the disease is becoming increasingly concentrated in particular localities and demographic groups, like mobile migrant populations. Pix/WHO

As malaria incidence declines in the region, the disease is becoming
increasingly concentrated in particular localities and
demographic groups, like mobile migrant populations. Pix/WHO

4 September 2014 — Two technical working groups (TWG) of the Emergency Response to Artemisinin Resistance in the Greater Mekong Subregion (ERAR) initiative debuted in Phuket, Thailand, at the sidelines of informal consultations, held between 19 to 22 August, to discuss an action plan for mobile and migrant populations and the development of draft strategies for monitoring and evaluation and advocacy and communications.

“Consensus building is always a tough challenge but members of the two TWGs have now agreed on an organisational structure that empowers the technical working groups to work with GMS countries and their partners, in an advisory capacity, in a more efficient, focused and structured way to ensure all stakeholders remain fully represented,” said Dr. Walter Kazadi, coordinator of the ERAR Regional Hub.

The first TWG was on surveillance, monitoring and evaluation (SME), with a partnership between ERAR Hub, national malaria control programmes, technical and development partners, the private sector, academia and the military health sector.

One key lesson, learnt, in the ERAR project, is that the capacity of SME systems in the GMS differs from country-to-country. An ongoing assessment of the SME systems in the GMS countries will inform program strengthening efforts.

“Some GMS countries require more attention and this SME TWG will advise all stakeholders – from donor partners to technical partners and NGOs – on how to provide coordinated technical support,” added Dr. Kazadi. “ That support will help incorporate partners’ plans into national programmes for monitoring and evaluation, including development of standardised tools for data collection, management, analysis and use, and updated survey tools for low malaria transmission settings and elimination.”

The second TWG on advocacy and communications, with ERAR Hub, national malaria programmes, development and technical partners, the private sector and the military health sector as members, will assist GMS countries to implement communication policy decisions to move the containment of artemisinin resistance and malaria elimination agenda forward, and support advocacy for implementation of elimination strategies at national levels.

“This TWG will also assist GMS countries harmonise the development of cross-border information, communication and education materials and behavior change communication strategies for populations at risk as identified in the ERAR Framework,” said Dr. Kazadi. Establishment of this TWG happens at a turning point when the GMS is undergoing major transformation, which calls for better coordination of advocacy and communication efforts for malaria elimination.

In 2015, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Economic Community, as envisioned by ASEAN leaders in 2007, formally comes to being, ushering in a region with a single market and production base characterised by free flow of goods, services, investment, capital, and skilled labor. Intense mobility in the GMS is also expected to increase with poor young adults, who cannot earn enough to support their families in their places of origin, moving across ASEAN common borders to find employment in neighbouring countries. These developments are likely to increase health inequities, and impact on efforts to curtail multi-drug resistance malaria in the Region.

In the ERAR Framework, population groups may be at high risk due to their occupation, working for instance in mining in forested areas; others are at risk due to their mobility. People moving into new areas are more likely to seek care from unregulated, private vendors often increasing their risk of exposure to substandard drugs or oral artemisinin-based monotherapy.

Of major concern is the fate of another population group at risk, mostly overlooked in the design of programs to eliminate malaria, namely military personnel stationed at malaria endemic border areas. Due to this, it was agreed among members, in both TWGs, that representation would be sought from each GMS country’s Ministry of Defence. Also, military medicine has made significant advances in malaria prevention, control, diagnosis, and treatment and because of this, military study data could be shared with national malaria control programmes.

In both TWGs, the ERAR Regional Hub will be the secretariat with meetings among members held every three months through teleconference.

Membership of the surveillance monitoring and evaluation TWG include:

  1. SME focal points from the six national malaria control programmes in the GMS.
  2. Representatives from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Australian Government’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, USAID/PMI, Global Fund for AIDS, TB and Malaria, Asian Development Bank/Asia-Pacific Leaders Malaria Alliance (APLMA).
  3. Chair of the Regional Steering Committee of the Global Fund/Regional Artemisinin Initiative (RAI); Representative from Global Fund – RAI Regional Principal Recipient (UNOPS-Myanmar).
  4. Representatives from Asia Collaborative Training Network for Malaria (ACTMalaria), Population Services International (PSI), CAP-Malaria, Asia Pacific Malaria Elimination Network (APMEN), Mekong Basin Disease Surveillance Network, and Malaria Consortium.
  5. Representation from research and academia, represented by Mahidol Oxford Research Unit (MORU).
  6. Representative from the private sector – represented by Myanmar Health and Development Consortium.
  7. Members of the ERAR Regional Hub.

Membership of the advocacy and communications TWG include:

  1. IEC/BCC focal points from the six national malaria control programmes in the GMS.
  2. Representatives from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Australian Government’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, USAID/PMI, Global Fund for AIDS, TB and Malaria, Asian Development Bank/Asia-Pacific Leaders Malaria Alliance (APLMA).
  3. Chair of the Regional Steering Committee of the Global Fund/Regional Artemisinin Initiative (RAI); Representative from Global Fund – RAI Regional Principal Recipient (UNOPS-Myanmar).
  4. Representatives from Population Services International (PSI), Malaria Consortium and Health Poverty Action (HPA).
  5. Representative from the private sector – represented by Myanmar Health and Development Consortium.
  6. Members of the ERAR Regional Hub.
Advertisements

Written by malariacontainment

October 3, 2014 at 2:55 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: