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FROM AMITA'S DESK

Dear friends,

APMEN and APLMA are now operating under a joint strategic plan that positions both entities as critical parts of an integrated regional platform committed to achieving malaria elimination.  

As part of this process, strengthening APMEN’s governance framework and clarifying the roles and responsibilities of key stakeholders has been an important priority for the APMEN Secretariat. Following a virtual consultation in April this year with key members of APMEN and its Working Groups, an updated governance framework has been developed and will be shared with the network for endorsement shortly.  

The APMEN Working Groups (WGs) remain a core element of the updated governance framework. The WGs are a critical mechanism to coordinate research and share operational experience between APMEN Country Partners. The WGs help to advocate for capacity strengthening at the national and regional level, identify knowledge gaps and support operational research on questions directly related to accelerating malaria control and elimination efforts.  

We are now inviting
Expressions of Interest (EoI) from interested organizations to host the APMEN Working Groups for a period of 2 years starting January 2021. This is an incredible opportunity to provide stewardship and guidance to the 3 Working Groups. Hosting an APMEN Working Group helps to position a partner as a recognized leader in the technical area of expertise, results in higher visibility and exposure at a regional and international level and provides an opportunity to develop and influence impactful activities related to malaria elimination in APMEN countries.  

We look forward to hearing from you and if you would like to discuss the opportunity with the Working Groups in more detail, please do reach out at
achebbi@aplma.org.

Warm wishes,
Amita

Amita Chebbi 
Senior Director, APMEN Secretariat 

APMEN BLOGS
CSO webinar
Malaria civil society organisations (CSOs) take the stage in latest APMENxChange
 
The webinar ‘New Challenges, Existing Networks: Civil Society Experiences in the GMS during COVID-19’ showcased the critical role that CSOs play in sustaining malaria activities in the context of the current pandemic, as well as the the broader support they provide to health systems strengthening. (Read more)
malaria in GMS
Addressing the challenge of residual malaria in the Greater Mekong Subregion

With Asia Pacific seeing impressive gains in malaria elimination efforts, residual malaria still persists in remote forested areas. The APMEN Vector Control Working Group came back to host APMEN TechTalks' most attended webinar to date with over 250 participants from 37 countries. (Read more
P.vivax Malaria
Optimizing radical cure for P. vivax malaria
 
The APMEN Vivax Working Group recently facilitated its first APMEN TechTalks webinar on the topic of radical cure for P. vivax malaria. Expert speakers and panel members weighed in on how to adopt and optimize available and effective treatment options to support malaria elimination in the region. (Read more)
Pacmossi logo
APMEN supports capacity building program on arbovirus and malaria surveillance and control in the Pacific islands
 
Funded by DFAT, the Mosquito-Borne Diseases Group at the James Cook Univerity in Australia is leading the Pacific Mosquito Surveillance Strengthening for Impact (PacMOSSI) program. APMEN joins the consortium of 12 institutions and will be supporting the design and delivery of the curriculum through its Vector Control Working Group. (Read more)
Leaders Dashboard
APLMA Leaders' Dashboard 2019 launched
 
The APLMA Leaders’ Dashboard 2019 was launched on the 16 July 2020. At the launch, senior government officials highlighted the progress made towards elimination in the Asia Pacific along eight policy milestones and shared best practices with colleagues. (Read more)
Fireside Chat Photo
APLMA Fireside Chat
 
The Asia Pacific Leaders Malaria Alliance launched a Fireside chat series 'We are as strong as our weakest link' to feature discussions around malaria elimination in time of COVID-19. The first chat was between Dr Sarthak Das, APLMA CEO and Professor Ashish Jha, Director of the Harvard Global Health Institute on 'COVID-19, Universal Health Coverage, & Global Health Interventions: Opportunities for New Paradigms in the Pandemic Age'. (Video)
APMEN VC Photo
APMEN facilitates workshop on community engagement for vector control
 
The COVID-19 pandemic continues to remind us of the importance of maintaining active and sustained community participation in achieving health goals. With invited partner representatives from country malaria programs, implementing agencies, academia and civil society, APMEN recently convened a virtual workshop to better understand community engagement models that have worked and elevate discussions on how we can further build models that are responsive, inclusive and adaptable.
ANNOUNCEMENTS
Expressions of Interest (EoI) invited from partners
to host the APMEN Working Groups

 
APMEN has 3 Working Groups (Vivax, Vector Control and Surveillance & Response) that represent the core of APMEN’s technical expertise.  These Working Groups were established to coordinate and advocate for capacity strengthening at the national and regional level, identify knowledge gaps and coordinate operational research on questions directly related to malaria control and elimination.  This call invites Expression of Interest (EoIs) from partners to host each of the three Working Groups for a period of 2 years. (Read more)
New tool developed to improve planning for entomological surveillance
 
Entomological surveillance is a critical component of any effective vector control strategy. The Entomological Surveillance Planning Tool (ESPT) was developed by UCSF’s Malaria Elimination Initiative (MEI) and the University of Notre Dame to help malaria programs plan entomological surveillance activities, interpret data, and guide important vector control decisions. Developed in response to malaria program demand, the ESPT distills guidance from technical partners such as the World Health Organization (WHO) and the President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI) into actionable step-by-step instruction for use by national malaria programs and partners to strengthen entomological surveillance and support locally-tailored, cost-effective, and evidence-based vector control. If you are interested in using or learning more about the ESPT, please contact Élodie Vajda at elodie.vajda@ucsf.edu. (Read more) 
Mapping policy processes for treatment guideline changes in the region
 
Following on from the APMEN meeting in Nepal, members of the Vivax Working Group are conducting interviews with country partners and other stakeholders to map out policy processes for treatment guideline changes in selected APMEN countries. So far, interviews have been conducted with country partners from Cambodia, Indonesia, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Sri Lanka and Viet Nam. If you are interested to participate, please get in touch with Kamala Thriemer (kamala.ley-thriemer@menzies.edu.au).
G6PD diagnostics update
 
Diagnosing G6PD deficiency remains a key challenge for policy makers and healthcare providers wishing to prescribe primaquine radical cure.  The APMEN Vivax Working Group (VxWG) has undertaken two important pooled analyses to investigate better ways of detecting patients with G6PD deficiency.

In the first study, partners shared data on a rapid diagnostic qualitative test (Accessbio/Carestart, USA). Results were pooled from almost 6,000 participants; under research conditions the test performed well in diagnosing G6PD deficiency at the 30% threshold
, but further studies are needed to determine how the RDT performs under routine clinical practice. (Read more)
 
In a second study, G6PD deficiency was assessed in more than 15,000 participants using spectrophotometry (the current gold standard method for diagnosing G6PD deficiency). The study showed marked differences in measurements between laboratories and assay manufacturers. VxWG partners are now working with PATH to assess whether a novel device (the SD Biosensor) is robust and accurate for diagnosing G6PD in a variety of endemic settings. (Read more)
The Global Vector Hub Survey on COVID-19 and Vector Control
 
Are you working in vector control, vector research, public health, policy or finance? How is the COVID-19 pandemic affecting your work? The Global Vector Hub is assessing how the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting vector control efforts and related activities globally, and they would love to hear from you through this short survey.
Online Roundtable Discussion: Diagnostics for Febrile Illness
 
The Malaria Gamechangers Series will gather Senior Officials from Asia Pacific, National Regulatory Authorities, manufacturers of malaria commodities and global health partners through an online roundtable to discuss on existing and new tools and strategies to advance both health security and malaria elimination in the region. The first online roundtable on Diagnostics for febrile illnesses including malaria and COVID-19 and will be held on 23 July 2020 from 1pm-2.30pm Singapore time. The roundtable will highlight the importance of testing, tracking and treating malaria and other febrile illnesses. Kindly register here for the event.
M2030 Private Sector Roundtable
 
Since the onset of COVID-19 pandemic, M2030 partners have supported immediate relief & recovery efforts in addition to malaria programs.

Join the upcoming '
M2030xCOVID19 Private Sector Roundtable' (28 Jul 2020, 3pm GMT+8) to get unique perspectives on engaging the private sector for important public health issues, straight from leading Asian businesses & foundation!
UPCOMING EVENTS 
The Impact of COVID-19 on Health and Health Equity in the ASEAN Region Series:
How has COVID-19 impacted HIV/AIDS, TB and malaria programmes in the ASEAN region?
22 Jul 2020, 7pm GMT+8
 
The Global Vector Hub Webinar: The impact of COVID-19 on global vector control efforts
22 Jul 2020, 7pm GMT+8
 
Impact Santé Afrique (ISA) Webinar: What you should know about long-lasting insecticidal nets and their impact
23 Jul 2020, 5pm GMT+8
 
APMEN TechTalks: New tools to reach outdoor-biting malaria vectors
29 Jul 2020, 3pm GMT+8
 

Malaria Gamechangers Series: Vector control tools for Asia Pacific
21 Aug 2020
 

Malaria Week 2020 (Virtual) (hosted by the Government of Viet Nam)
7-11 Sep 2020

 
American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (ASTMH) 69th Annual Meeting (Virtual)
15-19 Nov 2020
https://www.astmh.org/annual-meeting
 
Joint International Tropical Medicine Meeting (JITMM) 2020 Virtual Conference
Theme: “Tropical Disease Control amid the COVID-19 Pandemic”
15-16 Dec 2020

http://www.jitmm.com   
 
3rd International Malaria Vector Surveillance for Elimination (MVSE) Course
1st quarter of 2021, Thailand and India
MALARIA STORIES
RAI CSO Photo
Eliminating malaria in the Greater Mekong Subregion:
The collaborative effort of CSOs in RAI2E
 
The Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) in the Greater Mekong Subregion complement national efforts in delivering health services to cover the whole population, especially in underserved populations living in very hard to reach areas. Together with programs in Cambodia and Thailand, the CSO network documented the voices of migrant workers, village/mobile malaria workers, CSO field staff and health center staff in their latest feature video. (Video)
Global Fund Photo
How COVID-19 is affecting the global response to AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria
 
Results from the Global Fund’s latest bi-weekly survey show challenges for HIV prevention and HIV, TB and malaria case finding. (Read more)
China 1-3-7 Photo
China's 1-3-7 Strategy for Malaria Elimination
 
Surveillance is highlighted as a core intervention for malaria elimination. The 1-3-7 strategy is a malaria case-based surveillance reporting used to guide and monitor case reporting, investigation and response. (Video)
MNM India Photo
India marks World Malaria Day 2020
 
Amidst COVID-19, the government of India has been maintaining efforts to progress malaria elimination in the country. (Read more
PUBLICATIONS
Reports

A summary of P. vivax radical cure in Cambodia (Nov 2019 to May 2020 updates). National Center for Parasitology, Entomology and Malaria Control (CNM) Cambodia 2020.

Implementing effective community engagement for malaria control and elimination. University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) Global Health Group’s Malaria Elimination Initiative (MEI) 2020.
 
Maintaining essential services for malaria in low-resource countries. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) 2020.
 
Q&A: Hydroxychloroquine and COVID-19. World Health Organization (WHO) 2020.

Research articles

Keep the quality high: the benefits of lot testing for the quality control of malaria rapid diagnostic tests. Incardona S, et al. Malaria Journal 2020.
 
Potential impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on HIV, tuberculosis, and malaria in low-income and middle-income countries: a modelling study. Hogan AB, et al. The Lancet Global Health 2020.
 
Scaling up malaria elimination management and leadership: a pilot in three provinces in Zimbabwe, 2016–2018. Chung AM, et al. Malaria Journal 2020.
 
The durability of long-lasting insecticidal nets distributed to the households between 2009 and 2013 in Nepal. Ghimire P, et al. Tropical Medicine and Health 2020.

The APMEN Newsletter is a bi-monthly compilation of stories from the Asia Pacific Malaria Elimination Network. The next issue will be on September 21 (Monday) and will receive newsletter items by September 11 (Friday). Kindly send to newsletter@apmen.org.

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Email: info@apmen.org
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