INTRODUCTION: In the Greater Mekong Subregion, community health workers, known as malaria volunteers, have played a key role in reducing malaria in the control phase, providing essential malaria services in areas with limited formal healthcare. However, the motivation and social role of malaria volunteers, and testing rates, have declined with decreasing malaria burden and reorientation of malaria programmes from control to elimination. Provision of additional interventions for common health concerns could help sustain the effectiveness of volunteers and maintain malaria testing rates required for malaria elimination accreditation by the WHO. METHODS AND ANALYSIS: The Community-delivered Integrated Malaria Elimination (CIME) volunteer model, integrating interventions for malaria, dengue, tuberculosis, childhood diarrhoea and malaria Rapid Diagnostic Test (RDT)-negative fever, was developed based on global evidence and extensive stakeholder consultations. An open stepped-wedge cluster-randomised controlled trial, randomised at the volunteer level, will be conducted over 6 months to evaluate the effectiveness of the CIME model in Myanmar. One hundred and forty Integrated Community Malaria Volunteers (ICMVs, current model of care) providing malaria services in 140 villages will be retrained as CIME volunteers (intervention). These 140 ICMVs/villages will be grouped into 10 blocks of 14 villages, with blocks transitioned from control (ICMV) to intervention states (CIME), fortnightly, in random order, following a 1-week training and transition period. The primary outcome of the trial is blood examination rate determined by the number of malaria RDTs performed weekly. Difference in rates will be estimated across village intervention and control states using a generalised linear mixed modelling analytical approach with maximum likelihood estimation. ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: The study was approved by Institutional Review Board, Myanmar Department of Medical Research (Ethics/DMR/2020/111) and Alfred Hospital Ethics Review Committee, Australia (241/20). Findings will be disseminated in peer-review journals, conferences and regional, national and local stakeholder meetings. TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBER: NCT04695886.
Link to publisher’s web site