Improving Adherence to National Malaria Treatment Guidelines through a Low-Dose, High-Frequency Approach Targeting Village Malaria Workers in Selected Townships in Myanmar

Ni Ni Aye, May Aung Lin, Saw Lwin, Khin Than Win, Kyan Khaing, Nu Nu Khin, Kyaw Myint Tun who are colleagues from Jhpiego, PMI Defeat Malaria Project, University Research Co.,  Myanmar Nurses and Midwives Association; and the USAID/US President’s Malaria Initiative, Myanmar presented their experiences training village malaria workers on national malaria treatment guidelines at the 2018 Annual Meeting of the American Society of Tropical Medicine an Hygiene. Below are their findings.

The Trend of Malaria Cases and Deaths in Myanmar has been steadily decreasing. PMI Defeat Malaria Project (October 2016–September 2021) wants to ensure that this trend continues.

Project goals include reduce malaria burden, control artemisinin-resistant malaria in target area, and eliminate malaria in Myanmar. Specific Objectives are:

  • Achieve universal coverage of at-risk populations
  • Strengthen malaria surveillance system
  • Enhance provider technical capacity
  • Promote community and public and private-sector involvement in malaria control and elimination

Capacity Development Strategy for Village Malaria Workers (VMWs) focused on Two townships with low adherence to National Malaria Treatment Guidelines (NTGs): Palaw Township with 38 Village Malaria Workers (VMWs) and Gwa Township with 39 VMWs. The project used a Competency-based low-dose, high-frequency (LDHF) training approach. There were Three sessions, one day/month during June, July, and August 2017.

Post-training follow-up used a Clinical audit result review during supportive supervision and monitoring visits. Data quality assessment and verification was performed by field teams and monthly reports examined.

The project also Conducted refresher training using LDHF approach for at least two doses followed by on-the-job training and regular supervision and monitoring. They Formulated culturally appropriate materials for areas like Palaw Township where different languages are spoken. A Job Aid on Benefits of Adherence to Antimalarial Drug was developed.

VMW Rapid Diagnostic Testing was observed by Month. There was an Improvement in VMW Knowledge Assessment Scores with a positive Post-training Assessment Knowledge of Malaria.

Post-training Assessment for RDT Competency also took place. 85-90% of VMWs Told clients about blood testing and provided emotional support. 70-80% of VMWs Conducted RDT testing according to standards. 95-98% of VMWs Performed hand hygiene before and after rapid diagnostic test. 80-90% of VMWs Disposed used lancet immediately into safety box after use. 85-90% of VMWs Gave health education. Finally 80-90% Disposed of contaminated items appropriately and recorded test in malaria register, and 80% Used job aids/manual and provided correct treatment according to National Training Guidelines (NTGs).

In Conclusion, Improvement was seen in adherence to NTGs assessed as percent of uncomplicated malaria cases that received correct antimalarial treatment. VMWs Adhered to NTGs. In Gwa thus Increased from 72% to 100% and remained high. In Palaw this Stayed at 91% – 92% after training period. Therefore, the LDHF approach was appropriate for VMW capacity-building on protocol adherence in Gwa Township where there was no language barrier.

Next Steps include Conducting refresher training using LDHF approach for at least two doses followed by on-the-job training and regular supervision and monitoring. The project will Formulate culturally appropriate materials for areas like Palaw Township where different languages are spoken.

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