Examples of current projects
Projects in the Market Dynamics program’s current portfolio include:
- Providing safe treatment for malaria, accelerating elimination. Nearly 3 billion people are estimated to be at risk of Plasmodium. vivax malaria, a form common in Asia, Latin America, and East Africa. In order to accelerate the elimination of P. vivax, it is necessary to use drugs that clear the blood and liver of parasites. The only current cure for P. vivax that clears parasites from the liver can cause potentially lethal side effects in people with the common glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) enzyme deficiency, which affects approximately 400 million people. PATH is simultaneously working with private-sector companies to address the gap in point-of-care G6PD testing technology, as well as priming the market for the introduction of quantitative G6PD testing in Brazil, Cambodia, Ethiopia, and other countries. We are conducting market research, engaging with stakeholders, and creating supply strategies so that malaria patients have prompt and consistent access to diagnostic tools and malaria treatment.
Expanding access to treatment for cervical precancer. Cervical cancer is the second most common cause of cancer death globally among women younger than 50 years. More than 3 million women will die in the next ten years unless prevention is scaled up. Although effective and affordable methods for screening and treatment of precancer have been developed, fewer than 10 percent of eligible women in limited-resource settings have been screened, and many of those who need treatment do not receive it. We are developing geospatial mapping tools and a scenario-based Excel model to help country stakeholders plan how to best scale up their cervical precancer treatment programs. These tools, which estimate the number of women treated, the number of units of equipment needed, and associated start-up costs, could help decision-makers to make better use of scarce resources.
Increasing access to oxygen therapy. We are working to increase access to medical oxygen and pulse oximetry to improve quality of care and reduce morbidity and mortality in low- and middle-income countries. While most of these technologies were first commercialized more than 30 years ago and many manufacturers produce high-quality products, access remains poor in low- and middle-income countries. We conducted a global assessment of supply and demand and are recommending market-based approaches for rapidly increasing access to oxygen delivery devices and pulse oximeters. Improved information-sharing between suppliers and country stakeholders is required to increase access to appropriate and affordable devices. At the same time, coordination across global health partners and financiers is needed to best leverage resources that support countries as they scale access to these essential technologies. To facilitate this process, we recently convened 100 stakeholders to increase transparency of market intelligence, facilitate connections, and share lessons learned across nine country delegations, suppliers, financiers, and global health partners.
Increasing access to safe water. More than 1 million people die each year from diarrheal disease, roughly a third from consuming contaminated drinking water. Additionally, health care facilityacquired infections negatively affect millions of individuals worldwide, with patients in low-income countries facing an increased risk of exposure of 3–20 times higher than those in high-income countries. Chlorine is widely used as a treatment for drinking water and a disinfectant. However, it is often expensive and difficult to access, due to inconsistent supply chains, burdensome procurement processes, and logistical distribution complexities. We evaluated the potential impact of a novel, easy-to-use chlorine generator that uses salt, water, and electricity to produce a 1 percent chlorine solution. The team developed a criteria-based decision matrix tool that uses quantitative and qualitative data to evaluate multiple potential uses for the device (in communities, schools, emergency response, refugee camps, and health facilities), and to prioritize select settings for product development.
Because effective markets for health products require strong policy environments, we also work with specialists in advocacy and public policy to improve maternal, newborn, and child health. We arm advocates with the tools and information they need to influence policies that guide how markets operate and ensure health products reach those who need them. For instance, we recently partnered with local advocacy groups in Bangladesh and Nigeria to improve the availability and quality of maternal and newborn health products.
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