Eliminating malaria requires identifying whether the malaria control program is reaching all segments of the population. In South East Asia, migrants and mobile populations represent high-risk and hard-to-reach groups that are critical for malaria elimination. Ongoing monitoring is needed to identify and address any gaps between MMPs and resident populations in terms of:
- knowledge about malaria prevention and treatment,
- access to LLIN whether at home in the forest,
- regular LLIN use
- access to quality services, and
- treatment compliance.
Where data indicates a gap between MMP and residents, steps need to be taken to reduce the gap.
In South East Asia, many MMPs travel for work. To identify hotspots and help target the epicenter of malaria transmission, activities should work to identify all workplaces for MMPs, often in forest areas and on plantations. As MMPs move regularly, consistent updated information can be ensured through worksite censuses done by community-based workers at regular intervals determined based on local migration patterns. Once worksites are identified, service points/mobile outreach services can be established near hotspots to offer screening, testing, treatment and provision of LLINs and appropriate SBCC activities/campaigns.
Where possible, collaboration with authorities and forest rangers to provide additional information on the activities of forest goers and connect forest rangers to the health system for diagnosis and treatment is beneficial. This information on when/where MMPs are working, acceptability of various interventions, and ways to more quickly diagnose and treat infected individuals allow programs to continue to re-evaluate the location and services provided at service points and mobile outreach services.