World Malaria Day event in Peru - 25th April 2023
The Ministry of Health Peru (MINSA) hosted a World Malaria Day event, inviting the Partnership for Vivax Elimination (PAVE) team to present the actions executed and ongoing in Latin America, and new tools to combat Plasmodium vivax malaria. The event was broadcast in Spanish and was live streamed on Youtube.
Guests highlighted the importance of expanding access to diagnosis and treatment as a key component of eliminating malaria in the Americas. They also mentioned that work must be done to mitigate barriers in communities and sectorise territories for malaria teams, inviting regions to create ways to certify malaria elimination.
In the case of Peru, being a country in an elimination context has implied updating the guidelines and course of action in the country, especially in the surveillance system, moving from passive to active surveillance. Factors such as climate and some human factors must also be considered to guide and monitor interventions. It was mentioned that the largest number of cases in the country are P. vivax and are concentrated in the Amazon, specifically in the Loreto region. In addition, an analysis of the coherence between rainfall and the different types of malaria was shown.
In the framework of programme management, the importance of sustainability was stressed, and that interventions should give importance to the hypnozoite, as recurrent malaria is not being identified. The actions to combat asymptomatic malaria, for which the usual detection methods do not work, were also discussed. It is with all this information that the Plan for the Elimination of Malaria in Loreto "Plan Malaria Zero" was carried out years ago. The potential use of the new tools, TQ, PQ and G6PD test as part of the radical cure that will contribute to the elimination of malaria in the region and in the country was also highlighted.
PAVE's intervention recounted the alliance's experiences globally on the use of new tools to achieve radical cure, with a focus on past and ongoing interventions in Latin America. Focus was also put on the paediatric population, stressing the risk of providing a very high dose, which is why paediatric formulations are being developed for both TQ and PQ. The use of G6PD testing at community levels and the importance of quality training and constant monitoring was underlined.
The topic of antimalarial resistance, how work is being done to address it, the crucial role of alliances between academia and government, and the tools and treatment schemes currently available were also discussed. Finally, the experiences in the regions of Loreto and Junin were presented.
The event was concluded with a call to listen to the voices of people in the field in order to continuously improve practices, and with the presentation of a video produced by the Ministry of Health and DIRESA Junin, in the framework of the Malaria Elimination Plan 2030.