Tackling Severe Malaria in Zambia with the Medicines for Malaria Venture

Transaid is pleased to announce it is joining forces with the Swiss product development partnership, Medicines for Malaria Venture (MMV), in collaboration with the National Malaria Elimination Centre (NMEC) of Zambia, to develop innovative approaches to improve severe malaria case management in locations where Malaria prevalence is high.

The project aims to address the lack of access to quality severe malaria medicines and case management in Serenje District, Central Province, Zambia, which has one of the highest malaria prevalence rates in the country.

Together, Transaid and MMV will seek to reduce current delays in receiving treatment at household and community health centre levels, by increasing access to key malaria medicines and strengthening emergency transport systems for patients with severe malaria.

The project will serve as a pilot in the development of an evidence-based and sustainable strategy to help improve nationwide access to successful management of severe malaria in high-burden settings.

There will also be a particular focus on under-5s, as they are most at risk of contracting malaria, and on rural areas, where cases of uncomplicated malaria can become life-threatening if access to treatment is delayed.

Implemented by a consortium of partners – Transaid, Health Partners Zambia (HPZ), MMV and the Zambian organisations Development Data, Disacare, and the NMEC – the project builds on the community engagement and innovative training approaches successfully used in the Mobilizing Access to Maternal Health Services in Zambia (MAMaZ) and the MORE MAMaZ programmes which ran between 2011 and 2016.

Transaid’s Chief Executive Caroline Barber comments: “Our consortium is very proud of our achievements in the MAMaZ and MORE MAMaZ programmes, where skilled birth attendance rates increased by 27 per cent and 32 per cent, respectively, after several decades of minimal improvement. We are so pleased to be working with MMV, we hope to tackle the issue of severe malaria in Serenje and ensure we build sustainable capacity to continue the work once the project has ended.”

Commenting on the new partnership, Dr David Reddy, MMV’s CEO said: “We are delighted to be collaborating with Transaid on this exciting project to help save lives today and in the future. The majority of lives lost to malaria are those of children living far from health services, who simply don’t get the treatment they need in time. By improving access to quality medicine and improving case management, we can help change that.”