Amazon Malaria Initiative

About AMI

A Medical Worker Examines a Malaria Patient

Launched in 2001 with support of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the Amazon Malaria Initiative (AMI) is a regional program implemented in 11 Amazon basin and Central American countries that are also members of the Amazon Network for the Surveillance of Antimalarial Drug Resistance (Red Amazónica para la Vigilancia de la Resistencia a los Antimaláricos, or RAVREDA). A consortium of partners including the ministries of health of the participating countries and technical partners coordinates efforts through an innovative, collaborative decision-making model. AMI seeks to prevent and control malaria in the Amazon basin and Central America and bring lessons learned and networking to other countries, both in the region and around the globe.

Main lines of work:
  • Antimalarial efficacy monitoring, resistance surveillance, and prevention of emergence of resistance to antimalarials
  • Access to quality diagnosis and treatment
  • Quality assurance and control of pharmaceuticals and other supplies for malaria
  • Vector surveillance and integrated vector management
  • Epidemiological surveillance
  • Networking and systems strengthening
Specific activities include:
  • Determination and monitoring of drug efficacy and implementation of evidence based new antimalarial drug policies
  • Harmonization of national drug policy with specific sub-regions of the various countries
  • Building human capacity in the region regarding malaria issues
  • Building decentralized laboratory capacity through the use of minilabs
  • Testing the effectiveness and appropriate use of selected new rapid diagnostic methods
  • Implementing integrated vector control through selective control application
  • Addressing drug quality control by strengthening the countries current pharmaceutical management systems
  • Increasing knowledge in target groups about AMI lines of interventions and best practices
Why Malaria?

In 2013, countries in the Americas reported 427,904 malaria cases to the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO/WHO), 64% less than the number reported in 2000. Mortality decreased by 79% in the same period.

Malaria is endemic in 21 countries of the Americas. Among Amazon basin countries, Brazil has the highest burden of disease with 178,546 cases and 42% of the total cases in the Americas in 2013.
(Source of data:World Health Organization. World Malaria Report 2014, p. 54, and PAHO/WHO. Fact Sheet: Summary 2013. Accessed May 7, 2015.)

Malaria is caused by parasites in the genus Plasmodium and is transmitted by a mosquito vector in the genus Anopheles. There are 30-40 mosquito species that can transmit the disease. These species vary in their preferred breeding habitat, but most feed during non-daylight hours. This behavior accounts for the effectiveness of bed nets in preventing the spread of infection.