Since 2002, national malaria control programmes in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) and the Greater Mekong Sub-region (GMS) responded to increasing resistance of Plasmodium to existing drugs by adopting artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT) as first-line treatment. From 2012, countries have increasingly adopted recommendations by the World Health Organization to confirm all suspected malaria cases with diagnostic testing. In 2015, several countries in the GMS made bold steps towards malaria elimination, in the context of evidence of a resurgence in resistance to first-line treatments. In sub-Saharan Africa, efforts continue to rationalize malaria case management and further reduce prevalence of the disease.
ACTwatch has been monitoring anti-malarial and diagnostic markets since 2008. Standardized methods allow for comparability across survey rounds and over time, and provide evidence to inform policies, strategies and funding decisions. This series provides a comprehensive contemporary view of anti-malarial markets across several countries in SSA and the GMS, examining current levels of access to quality-assured first-line treatments and malaria diagnostics, and documenting the persistence of other non-first line medicines. This evidence serves as a benchmark for public and private sector initiatives that have aimed to scale up access to first-line treatment and confirmatory testing. Evidence can guide future strategies aimed at improving malaria case management and for accelerating progress towards malaria elimination.