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Viewpoint: Management of malaria – working with the private sector

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Recent reviews have demonstrated that a substantial proportion of cases of malaria are managed in the private sector, and international policy initiatives routinely emphasize the need for malaria control programmes to collaborate with the private sector. However, information on how to develop successful partnerships between the public and private sectors remains limited. This paper reviews the current knowledge about the management of malaria by private providers, considers the potential of different strategies for influencing the quality of care provided, and identifies processes for facilitating public-private sector collaborations. We contend that public sector-led interventions, such as training of private providers or the distribution of prepackaged antimalarials through the private sector, are unlikely to scale up to sustainable national level programmes if they do not take into account a wide range of needs and concerns, represented by private provider organizations and other interest groups, including service users. These groups should be involved at key stages including the design and piloting of interventions, through to the dissemination and implementation of findings. Research priorities are outlined for the development of tools to facilitate public-private partnerships for improving the management of malaria.

Keywords: malaria; management; partnerships; private sector

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Department of Public Health and Policy, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, UK 2: Department of Infectious and Tropical Diseases, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, UK

Publication date: 1999-05-01

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