ACCESS II - Improving Access to Effective Malaria Treatment
Since 2003, the ACCESS Project has been devoted to analyzing and improving access to effective malaria treatment in Tanzania. Main interventions have included social marketing campaigns to inform the population on causes, symptoms and appropriate treatment of malaria, training and supportive supervision of health personnel and the establishment of licensed private drug stores. One of the initiative's achievements has been the development of a general analytical and planning framework on the issue of access, which can also be applied to other diseases and contexts. The second phase of the project - ACCESS II - began in 2008 by building on this model as well as on the results and experiences gathered so far. The purpose of the project is to increase the demand for adequate malaria services to induce more people with the relevant symptoms to come for treatment in a health center or a licensed drug store. Despite the initial success, ACCESS II faces further challenges. An increasing number of people with fever go to health centers and drug stores, but may fail to receive adequate treatment in all of them. In addition, the results from the first phase show that beyond information on malaria and its treatment, the financial resources available to potential patients must be increased. People who are affected by malaria ultimately need enough money to be able to finance insurance coverage and treatment. Thus, access to insurance coverage through community health funds is being promoted. In addition, ACCESS II supports micro-credits and new measures to generate income, particularly for women. More participatory information campaigns on malaria and healthcare services with community involvement are also pursued. By simultaneously strengthening healthcare services and patient resources, access should sustainably improve.