QAP is supporting quality improvement activities and research aimed at strengthening preventive therapy for pregnant women, timely diagnosis of malaria through rapid diagnostic tests, and prompt use of artemisinin-based combination therapies (ACTs).
- Through the Pediatric Hospital Improvement (PHI) Collaboratives in Niger and Tanzania, QAP is working to strengthen the quality of malaria diagnosis and case management for children under five treated at the district hospital level, particularly for severe life-threatening pediatric malaria and its complications. Ongoing operations research is assessing the impact of the Niger PHI Collaborative for improving child malaria diagnosis and care in district hospitals.
- As part of their antenatal programs, Essential Obstetric and Neonatal Care (EONC) Collaboratives in Benin and Niger target improved prevention of malaria in expectant mothers, applying intermittent preventive therapy (IPT) and improved treatment of malaria for expectant mothers and their unborn babies who are at risk. In addition to promoting prevention and prompt ACT therapy for children and pregnant women, QAP promotes access to and distribution of insecticide-treated nets (ITNs) as part of the Benin EONC Collaborative.
QAP is collaborating with the World Health Organization to improve diagnosis of malaria in remote areas through the use of rapid diagnostic tests.
- (RDTs) that can be administered by community health workers. In partnership with WHO’s Western Pacific Regional Office, QAP carried out quality design research in the Philippines and Laos to develop and test an illustrated RDT job aid for community health workers with low literacy skills and little or no prior training.
- Building on the initial RDT research, QAP assisted WHO and the National Malaria Control Center in Zambia to develop and field test simplified instructions and a training curriculum aimed at low-literacy community health workers about the correct use of malaria rapid diagnostic tests.
- Follow-on research is in development to address critical operational issues raised by widespread RDT use in Africa, including safe blood handling practices, appropriate disposal of medical waste (including sharps), proper storage and handling of the test kits prior to use, clinical judgment on the part of the community health workers about when to treat based on test results and when to treat presumptively, and what workers should tell patients who are febrile but RDT negative.
- In Benin, QAP is providing technical assistance to Plan International to apply the improvement collaborative approach to strengthen community-based malaria services.
- In Rwanda, QAP assisted the National Malaria Control Program to implement an improvement collaborative focused on case management of malaria in children involving teams in four districts. The collaborative, conducted from 2003-2006, achieved significant gains in compliance with malaria case management standards in participating hospitals and health centers.
- QAP provided technical support in the application of Instructional Systems Design to improve the quality and effectiveness of malaria program training in Southeast Asia as part of the ACTMalaria course.
Related QAP Publications: