Rapid Access Expansion programme (RAcE)

Last update: 13 June 2017

In 2012, the Government of Canada awarded a grant to the WHO Global Malaria Programme to support the scale-up of integrated community case management of pneumonia, diarrhoea and malaria among children under five in sub-Saharan Africa. This approach is known as the integrated community case management of childhood diseases (iCCM). Through the Rapid Access Expansion programme (RAcE), WHO has awarded funding to nongovernmental organizations selected through a competitive process.

The programme is now in place in five malaria-endemic countries with the support of selected partners:

  • Democratic Republic of the Congo (International Rescue Committee)
  • Malawi (Save the Children)
  • Mozambique (Save the Children)
  • Niger (World Vision)
  • Nigeria (Malaria Consortium and Society for Family Health)

Programme objectives

The programme’s first objective is to contribute to the reduction of child mortality due to malaria, pneumonia and diarrhoea by increasing access to diagnostics, treatment and referral services for these diseases. The aim, initially focused on the Millennium Development Goals, is to accelerate progress towards the post-2015 health and development agenda.

The programme’s second objective is to generate evidence to inform WHO policy recommendations and programmatic guidance on iCCM. Lessons learned will be reviewed to share experiences and identify best practices for the scale-up of iCCM programmes across sub-Saharan Africa. The project will also serve as a foundation for a comprehensive policy review on case management in the five target countries, and a review of WHO’s policy guidance on the subject.

Programme results

RAcE partnerships, initiated and facilitated by WHO, have had the following results:

   • RAcE partners have given logistical, technical and financial support to implementing countries for iCCM scale-up. As a result, over 6 million children under five have been diagnosed and treated for pneumonia, diarrhoea and malaria in RAcE-supported sites since the launch of the project. Many countries have also updated their national policies to facilitate iCCM scale-up.

   • RAcE partners are generating solid evidence on iCCM programme implementation through research on supervision, motivation of community health worker, quality of care, supply chain management, and the use of innovative tools such as mobile phone applications.

   • RAcE partners are working with implementing countries to strengthen in-country systems for monitoring and evaluating iCCM. ICF International is supporting monitoring and evaluation efforts in all RAcE programme areas.

   • WHO, RAcE partners and ICF International are facilitating ownership and sustainability plans to hand over the programme to implementing countries and minimize the risk that iCCM services are interrupted once project funding ends.

By 2017, nearly 8400 community health workers have been trained to deliver iCCM services in the five countries. Ministries of health also have evidence-based policy solutions, operational guidance for iCCM scale-up, as well as better systems for measuring the performance of their iCCM programmes.

Governance and project oversight

The RAcE programme is governed by an international steering group, which provides general oversight to the WHO Global Malaria Programme to help improve the relevance, impact, and sustainability of the RAcE programme. A project review panel has been appointed to review grant applications from nongovernmental organizations and to make recommendations to WHO.

For further information, please contact:

Dr Salim Sadruddin
RAcE Project Team Leader
WHO Global Malaria Programme
Tel: +41 22 791 4743

Country profiles

A mother and child at Malhangalene Health Centre in Maputo, Mozambique.
Arturo Sanabria/ Courtesy of Photoshare

The country profiles provide an overview of the activities implemented in each of the five RAcE-supported countries.

Implementing the RAcE project

In September 2013, GMP and the WHO Regional Office for Africa held a joint meeting to review progress on the programme's implementation. The presentations given during this meeting contain a wealth of information about iCCM, and the burden of malaria, pneumonia and diarrhoea in the 5 selected countries.