We have been working with the National Malaria Control Program (NMCP) in Hanoi for the last 3 years; they are our lead partner in Vietnam. Together, we believe we have learned how to rapidly eliminate forest malaria from the region.
ConsortiumHA’s mission is to eliminate emerging incurable malaria, rapidly reduce malaria mortality, address related conditions and to tackle their underlying cause, poverty.
ConsortiumHA was approved as a 501(c)(3) in Savage, Minnesota, USA on August 26, 2016. Registration is in process in Vietnam and planned for other countries in the region.
To improve health for vulnerable people and at-risk people through risk identification, identification and implementation of effective solutions and through provision of on-going monitoring and evaluation
To reduce poverty through English education, keeping children in school and bringing tourists/volunteers to afflicted communities
To raise awareness of donors worldwide about the needs, the challenges and potential solutions for both emerging incurable malaria in the underlying causes
Help protect the remaining forest in Southeast Asia, as this is where almost all malaria transmission in this region occurs
Consortium for Health Action was established in the USA in 2016, but its origins can be traced back to 1982 when Dr. Ohrt visited Tanzania as a Gustavus Adolphus College student when he saw many children were dying from chloroquine-resistant malaria and no alternative treatments were available. In 1989, he chose malaria as the disease he would commit his life to, because at the time, it was a totally neglected disease, killing millions of people. In 1991, he joined the US Army to find solutions for the newly emerging incurable malaria strains emerging on the Thai-Cambodian border.
After 3.5 years in Thailand, Cambodia and Indonesia, he returned to Walter Reed Army Institute of Research in Silver Spring, Maryland to work on new drugs to fight malaria. Tafenoquine, the drug he spent most of his career developing has just completed the last human testing before approvals. Dr. Alan Magill was his key mentor. Based on Dr. Magill’s recommendation as the Malaria Lead at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Dr. Ohrt returned to “the field.” In Southeast Asia, Dr. Ohrt is following his dream of eliminating malaria from the place where the resistant strains emerge and spread.
Dr. Ohrt’s new challenge is to achieve effective implementation of proven interventions in the field, the main remaining “gap.” He has been working in partnership with the Vietnam National Malaria Control Program of the last three years. Together, they have identified the limitations of current malaria control approaches and identified three game-changing approaches to rapidly eliminate the disease: smartphone-based apps for real time remote monitoring of intervention implementation in the field, highly sensitive rapid diagnostic tests that now make large-scale screening and treatment possible and solutions to make sure everyone at risk can have an effective malaria prevention package.
Colonel (retired) Ohrt started Consortium for Health Action in 2016 in order to empower the already strong institutions in the region to adopt the new technologies and to link the critical partners needed to eliminate emerging incurable malaria from the region to stop history from repeating itself. As malaria disappears from the region, he will progressively shift focus to tackle the underlying cause of malaria, poverty, and other conditions related to poverty such as malnutrition and maternal-child mortality. He also plans to return to East Africa where he has extensive experience with malaria epidemiology and diagnostics quality improvement while posted at Walter Reed.
Our game-changing technology
Our team has been working the National Institute of Malariology, Parasitology and Entomology (NIMPE) for the last two years developing a new smartphone based information system, understanding challenges and developing methods to rapidly eliminate the forest malaria in two provinces in Vietnam. We have a developed a game changing smartphone-based app for rapid case reporting, geolocation of the actual forest transmission locations for targeting and quality systems.
The first component of the quality system is to make sure people working in the actual transmission locations with malaria get promptly effectively treated, and that they are using treated bed nets. The second component is for quality control of malaria diagnostics and drugs. We have identified key multi-sector partners who are both part of the problem (the transmission reservoir) and part of the solution (structured workforce in the highest risk areas).
The priority groups we will request to join our consortium are the military, the border guard, and the forest guard. With these new additions and slight modification of existing strategies, we believe our consortium can rapidly eliminate forest malaria.