Myanmar accounts for nearly 80% of malaria cases and 75% of malaria deaths in the Mekong region, according to a 2012 assessment funded b5y the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
The World Health Organization identifies more than 40 million of Myanmar’s nearly 55 million people as living in malaria-endemic areas. With two-thirds of the country’s population live in areas of malaria risk, the disease poses a significant public health challenge in Myanmar.
PATH is addressing the needs of the malaria community in Myanmar with a pilot of new technology to test for glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency (G6PD deficiency). Individuals who have this deficiency suffer severe adverse reactions from certain malaria drugs. PATH, in collaboration with the Mahidol Oxford Research Unit and the Shoklo Malaria Research Unit in Thailand, is paving the way for safe and effective malaria care by assessing the performance of new rapid diagnostic tests to screen for this deficiency and ensure high-quality care.