APMEN Newsroom


Vivax Update: Country Partner Technical Program - Study on mobile phone technology use for disease mapping finalized

The overall aim of this APMEN-funded study is to use and evaluate mobile technology for disease mapping and early case diagnosis in Bhutan. This study was performed in a collaborative approach between the Bhutan country partners and a specialist team from the Centre of Excellence for Biomedical and Public Health Information, Faculty of Tropical Medicine, Mahidol University in Thailand.

The study was being carried out in five health facilities of Sarpang district, which contributes more than 60 % of the country's malaria cases. An online information system for malaria and febrile episodes using web-based and mobile technology was developed. Health care personnel at selected health facilities were trained both at operational and management levels regarding application of mobile technology and geographical information system for decision-making.

The highlights of this project were:

•             Data collected in the new electronic system are the same as in the existing paper-based data collection forms; however the system cuts off repetitive data entry and generate some pre- specifying data points making healthcare staff working more effectively.

•             During routine case follow-up visits, data can be recorded directly and transmitted immediately tothe central server.  The data collected on a mobile device captures more than just textual data (as in paper-based) e.g. locations and pictures.  This facilitates effective case management as well as vector control activities.

•             Evidence-based and traceable epidemiology reports are generated easily.  Reports of key indicators can automatically be generated and used for site monitoring and on higher management levels.  The data can be exported and different variables can be linked for additional analyses.

Although the APMEN funding for this project is finished, the investigators are currently in the process of securing funds for the expansion of the project to other parts of the country.

Findings and lessons learnt from this study will be published soon. 

alaria cases shown on Google map


Update on GMAP2: Country consultations in the AP region


The process of developing the second Global Malaria Action Plan (GMAP2) for the period 2016-2025 is driving ahead. The phase of regional level consultations has been completed.

The focus is now on country consultations to ensure the GMAP2 is responsive to country needs and realities. The in-country process starts off by talking with affected communities, community development workers, first line health workers, district and regional staff. The views of these key stakeholders are put at the centre of national level consultations that involve a broad multisectoral audience including civil society, the private sector, academia, donors and Government representatives from different sectors and levels.

Between 16-20th June Caritas-India convened a successful community consultation in Nagoan District in Assam, and a national level consultation in New Delhi. The Pilipinas Shell Foundation and Deloitte Consulting convened a similarly rich mix of stakeholders at consultations in Rizal and Palawa provinces and Manila in the same timeframe.

Countries from different regions and at various stages on the pathway to elimination are all being encouraged to take part. Click here to find out more and participate in the process of creating the GMAP2 document.



APMEN Secretariat visits Partner Institution AAMI

Staff of the Brisbane-based APMEN Secretariat recently visited our Partner Institution, the Australian Army Malaria Institute (AAMI), located at the Australian Defence Force Gallipoli Barracks to observe the activities being undertaken by researchers and Australian servicemen & women to combat the threat of malaria, particularly in the Asia Pacific.

Visiting student from Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, Beth Turner, Catherine Smith, Prof Dennis Shanks and Kate Bath at the Australian Army Malaria Institute in Brisbane

The visit was kindly hosted by Professor Dennis Shanks, Director of the Institute and a leading researcher in malaria, particularly Plasmodium vivax (P. vivax) malaria, in the Asia Pacific region.

Prof Shanks gave a presentation on the significant history of malaria in the Asia Pacific region, and explained some of the work that he and 40 staff at the Institute do, and his thoughts on why malaria is still a severe problem today.

“Malaria has stopped military operations for the Australian Army on three occasions,” Prof Shanks said.

“In Palestine in 1918, following cavalry assault on Turkish forces in Jordan & Syria, in (Papua) New Guinea in 1942-43 when infantry were fighting the Japanese on the north coast, and in Vietnam 1968 when ANZAC (Australian and New Zealand Army Corp) Brigade was losing men at a rate of 1% a day sick due to drug-resistant malaria.”

While Australia was declared free of malaria by the WHO in 1981, the successive governments have remained committed to assisting malarious Asia Pacific countries to achieve the goal a malaria-free region.

AAMI is responsible for testing and establishing the most effective Rapid Diagnostic Tests in the field, which is especially important as there are many areas of Asia-Pacific that do not have access to lab based diagnosis (microscopy and PCR). To test the effectiveness of new anti-malarial chemical compounds that are sent to them from across the region, AAMI continue to research the life-cycle of the Plasmodium parasite through animal models.

With the present and arising challenges of drug-resistance in the region, staff at the AAMI have focused some of their research on new antimalarial drugs, and consequently, another research aim of the Institute is to improve Asia Pacific countries' efforts to ultimately achieve malaria elimination.  

As Professor Shanks states; ‘‘We are still struggling with the need to shift our mind set from malaria treatment to elimination as the operations are really very different. Malaria elimination will be a very long war."

APMEN would like to thank Professor Shanks and Dr Qin Cheng for coordinating the visit to AAMI. 


WHO releases meeting report on operational research on malaria elimination 


As part of WHO's work on accelerating countries’ transition from malaria control to malaria elimination, and with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, WHO/Global Malaria Programme organized a planning meeting for operational research on malaria elimination on 17–18 October 2013 in Geneva, Switzerland.
The main objectives of the meeting were to:
* review the malaria operational landscape;
* identify operational challenges, bottlenecks and priority research questions in the transition from malaria control towards elimination; and
* reach agreement among the meeting participants on the next steps, roles and responsibilities.


World Health Organization, Planning meeting for operations research on malaria elimination (May 2014)



Updated Global Health Group briefing on APMEN countries

APMEN countries were recently featured in a Global Health Group briefing, which was called for at the March 2014 APMEN VI meeting in Manila, Philippines.  This led to an updated version of the World Malaria Report 2013 annexes, specifically for Vanuatu. 

Read the updated version of  The Impact of the Global Fund’s New Funding Model on the Asia Pacific Malaria Elimination Network Countriesonline.

The updated World Malaria Report 2013 annexes and the corrected versions of both briefings, The Impact of the Global Fund’s New Funding Model on the 34 Malaria-Eliminating Countries, can be viewed/downloaded here:

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Democratic People’s Republic of Korea
Lao People’s Democratic Republic
Republic of Korea
Solomon Islands
Sri Lanka