MAM is a 5-year initiative started in 2006 to train LCS to diagnose malaria symptomatically and to dispense Artemisinin Combination Therapy (ACT), a highly effective regimen combatting malaria. To help build LCS into effective national healthcare partners, FHI developed a comprehensive training program. Through group activities and role-playing exercises, participants in the training learn to use structured questions to obtain critical information from customers—such as a patient's age, symptoms and their duration—before dispensing medicines. Participants learn how to correctly dose and administer Artemisinin-based Combination Therapy (ACT), the national standard for treating uncomplicated malaria. They are also trained in the recognition of and process of referring complicated cases to the nearest health facility. LCS are also trained to encourage pregnant women visiting their shop to sleep under long-lasting insecticide-treated bed nets and to refer them to the nearest health facility to receive intermittent preventive treatment (IPT), medication that protects pregnant women from malaria-related low birthweight in their babies, anemia, or possible death.
As well as working with LCS, FHI 360 developed radio advertisements, billboards, posters and community activities such as Mothers Against Malaria clubs to raise awareness of malaria and its symptoms. From January 2009 to March 2010, the initiative's mass media campaign reached 64 percent of the people in the region, and nearly 65,000 people learned about early recognition through interpersonal communication.
To promote the continuation of high-quality services, FHI supports district-level advocacy meetings to update and provide feedback to District Health Management Teams. Quality assurance activities, including client and household interviews, are conducted to assess the quality of LCS services and provide a basis for making improvements.
The MAM programme finished at the end of 2011, but the program model is now being integrated into Ghana's national plan and rolled out across other regions.