- What: Novartis is undertaking research-based projects to build local capacity to effectively treat and interrupt transmission of malaria.
- Scope: The projects are being carried out in Tanzania and Namibia.
- Objective: These activities are part of the Novartis Malaria Initiative, which aims to improve access to malaria treatment.
- Impact: The results of the projects are expected to be available from 2016.
Novartis is undertaking a range of innovative, research-based projects to build local capacity to effectively treat and interrupt transmission of malaria, in sub-Saharan Africa.
Two notable examples are:
- A small-cluster randomised controlled trial to test the impact of sending SMS messages to health care providers, after training, to reinforce rational use of malaria treatment in Tanzania. This trial was carried out in 2015 and the results of the intervention are expected in 2016.
- A programme to assess the impact of targeted parasite elimination (a new strategy to treat malaria parasites in asymptomatic carriers in low endemic areas) in breaking the cycle of transmission in Namibia. Each programme involves partnerships with different, locally-relevant stakeholders, such as the Medicines for Malaria Venture, the University of Namibia, and the National Vector-Borne Disease Control Programme at the Namibian Ministry of Health and Social Services. This programme was launched in April 2014 and is ongoing in 2016. The results of the study are expected in 2017-18.
While some companies have implemented or supported innovative interventions aiming to build evidence regarding specific disease areas, the examples provided demonstrate Novartis’ more comprehensive and multi-pronged approach to building skills and capacities needed to effectively address malaria through different strategies.