Program for the Advancement of Malaria Outcomes
In Zambia we're not just trying to control malaria, we're aiming to eliminate it.
While mortality from malaria has drastically decreased in Zambia over the past decade, more than 1,000 deaths are still reported annually. Malaria prevalence varies both between and within districts and is endemic across all ten provinces. The Government of the Republic of Zambia aims to eliminate local malaria infection and disease.
The Program for the Advancement of Malaria Outcomes (PAMO) is a flagship malaria program for the U.S. government President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI) in Zambia. PAMO helps Zambia accelerate progress towards eliminating local malaria infection and disease. Implemented by PATH, PAMO supports the Government of Zambia at the national level through the National Malaria Elimination Centre (NMEC) and in four high malaria burden provinces: Luapula, Muchinga, Eastern, and Northern.
PAMO's strategy focuses on:
- Increasing coverage of proven malaria interventions in alignment with the National Malaria Strategic Plan.
- Strengthening management capacity of the provincial and district Ministry of Health personnel to provide oversight and supervision of delivery of malaria interventions.
- Strengthening the health management information system at the provincial and district levels to improve data reporting, analysis, and use for decision-making.
Implementing proven malaria interventions
In alignment with the national strategy, PAMO is supporting the Government of Zambia in implementing integrated community case management of malaria training and deploying community health workers to confirm and treat malaria within communities, training health workers in malaria treatment guidelines to reduce presumptive treatment, increasing delivery of intermittent preventive treatment in pregnancy as part of an integrated package of antenatal services, supporting insecticide-treated bed net distribution, and supporting the PMI pre-elimination program in Eastern Province. Community access to prompt malaria diagnosis and treatment has improved dramatically in PAMO focus districts.
Building management capacity to deliver malaria interventions
To reduce malaria deaths, limit the use of anti-malarial drugs, and contribute to malaria elimination, health care workers should confirm each case of malaria, instead of relying on presumptive treatment. Outreach training and supportive supervision has shown to improve malaria diagnostic and treatment skills. PAMO is helping decentralize training and supervision by strengthening provincial and introducing district-level supervision, effectively expanding the technical and geographic scope of mentorship. PAMO also provides training to provincial and district managers, focusing on developing skills such as planning, human and financial resources, and health commodities management
Strengthening health information systems to improve reporting, analysis, and decision-making
PAMO enables the use of data to improve intervention implementation and inform decision-making at all levels. Training and mentorship provided to facility and district health care workers has improved the completeness, accuracy, and timeliness of data reporting. Data quality audits ensure consistency data recorded in paper and electronic registers. PAMO facilitates biannual district-wide data review meetings where health facility staff present data to their peers, district and provincial health officials to review progress on key indicators (malaria deaths, incidence, provision of intermittent preventive treatment in pregnancy). The institutionalization of the harmonized workplan and malaria scorecard facilitates coordinated implementation and real-time tracking of progress at all levels.