This study generates high-resolution maps of access to effective antimalarials used for treatment across all malaria endemic countries. To generate this, we triangulate information on the coverage of treatment seeking for fever, distribution of antimalarials, malaria treatment policies and health system performance. The access is also assessed within the public and private sectors. Three important observations were shown: first, as expected, due to significant increase on access to care, over time, more people are accessing antimalarials – in both private and public sources; second, within sub-Saharan Africa, access to artemisinin-based which are the recommended first-line and the most effective treatment option has stalled or remained stagnant since 2018; and third, at sub-regional level, countries in the western and central Africa, and southern Asia subregions are significant lagging behind with over half of cases treated with ineffective or non-recommended antimalarial medicines, and more importantly, densely populated countries and those with high proportion of private sector providers are facing more challenge.
Findings from this work may be utilized to guide national control programs and decision makers at regional and international scale on areas that require more attention to improve quality of care provided to the patients and to prevent emergence of resistance. They highlight the importance of investing on integrated surveillance strategies – drug monitoring and regulation to prevent access to sub-standard medicine, strengthening of public-private partnership and regulation of the private care industry.
World Wide Antimalarial Resistance Network (WWARN)