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PMI: Presidents Malaria Initiative - Saving lives in Africa.

Diagnosis and Treatment

  Photo of two women administering medicine to a small child.
  With PMI's support, children are receiving prompt treatment for malaria with effective ACTs.
Source: Bonnie Gillespie/Voices for a Malaria-Free Future

Using microscopes to examine blood smears in laboratories is considered the best way to diagnose malaria, but it requires considerable supervisory and logistics support to sustain high-quality performance. In recent years, the development and refinement of rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) for malaria have offered a potentially simpler solution to laboratory diagnosis of malaria. PMI supports the procurement and distribution of microscopes and RDTs, and the training of health care workers to improve laboratory diagnosis and ensure that test results are actually used to guide treatment.

Artemisinin-based drugs are the most rapidly acting and effective antimalarial drugs currently available for uncomplicated malaria. Artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT), an artemisinin-based drug combined with another effective antimalarial, has become the standard treatment of malaria in almost all malaria-affected regions. PMI supports the purchase and distribution of ACTs; training and supervision of health workers in the appropriate treatment of uncomplicated and severe malaria; dissemination of information about the correct use and advantages of prompt ACT treatment; and improvement of management and logistics systems for distribution of ACTs through the public and private sectors.