NEW YORK (360Dx) – Abbott today announced it will provide technology, funding, and expertise an effort underway in India to eliminate malaria.
In collaboration with the government of Odisha in eastern India and nonprofit Malaria No More, Abbott will provide 1 million rapid diagnostic tests, $750,000, and technical expertise to "strengthen Odisha's malaria detection and surveillance system." The funding is being provided over three years to Malaria No More to support its work with the Odisha government to define and support a strategy to eliminate malaria that can be used as a model for other states in India.
Abbott is supplying its antigen-based SD Bioline Malaria Ag P.f/P.v, a rapid diagnostic test for detecting Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium vivax parasites in human whole blood.
"Together with Malaria No More, we're looking forward to advancing this important work and to further building out Odisha's surveillance and data collection capacity," Damian Halloran, vice president Infectious Disease – Emerging Markets for Abbott, said in a statement.
The company noted that India launched a five-year National Strategic Plan for Malaria Elimination in 2017 with a focus on eliminating the disease rather than controlling it. Odisha has a population of about 42 million people, and in 2016 it accounted for about 40 percent of India's malaria burden and one-third of Southeast Asia's malaria burden.
In one year, Odisha reduced its malaria cases by 80 percent, Abbott said, through persistent effort and innovative approaches, such as training 47,0000 accredited social health activists to reach the most vulnerable citizens with rapid diagnostic testing and other lifesaving malaria interventions in areas where the disease is most prevalent.
According to Abbott, rapid diagnostics "are the frontline first step of data collection that can provide baseline information for Odisha's malaria surveillance system. With strategic use of data, health officials can make better decisions about where to deploy the most effective malaria control tools," the company said.