Private Sector Contributions to National Malaria Surveillance Systems in Elimination Settings: Lessons Learned from Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, and Vietnam

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  • 1 University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway;
  • | 2 Population Services International, Vientiane, Laos;
  • | 3 Independent Consultant, New York, New York

Comprehensive malaria case surveillance is necessary to achieve and sustain malaria elimination. In the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS), the private sector plays a substantial role in malaria treatment. Yet, none of the six GMS countries collects complete case data from private sector points-of-care. Between 2016 and 2019, the GMS Elimination of Malaria through Surveillance program supported national malaria programs in Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, and Vietnam to execute elimination strategies by engaging the private sector in malaria case management, generating private sector case data, and integrating these data into national surveillance systems. The project enrolled 21,903 private sector outlets, covering between 52% and 80% of the private sector in targeted geographies, which were trained and equipped to perform rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) and report malaria case data. By 2019, the private providers enrolled in the program reported a total of 3,521,586 suspected cases and 96,400 confirmed malaria cases into national surveillance systems, representing 16% of the total reported caseload by these countries (Cambodia, 25%; Lao PDR, 5%; Myanmar, 12%; Vietnam, 8%). Results demonstrated that with comprehensive support, such as training, provision of free or subsidized RDTs, first-line treatments, and routine supportive supervision, private providers can provide quality malaria case management and achieve high reporting rates.

Author Notes

Address correspondence to Kemi Tesfazghi, 1120 19th St. NW #600, Washington, DC 20036. E-mail:

Authors’ addresses: Rebecca Potter, University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway, E-mail: Kemi Tesfazghi and Stephen Poyer, Population Services International, Vientiane, Laos, E-mails: and M. James Eliades, Independent Consultant, New York, NY, E-mail: