Author Dr. Michel Odika, March 5 2015 - Historically… Many factors have restricted a country’s capacity to use malaria-related data for improving monitoring and evaluation. These include limited human and financial resources, multiple reporting demands from stakeholders (including donors) and the lack of a reliable country-level information system for data related to malaria…

Painfully obvious examples: challenges in getting the best out of national responses… In most malaria-affected countries, programme managers find themselves having to report similar data in many different formats, while, at the same time, these basic data are seldom used at the national level as a credible basis for programme refinement and improvement. Even within and between national ministries (Health and Research, for example), there is poor sharing and coordination of data…

Crucial necessity for developing Malaria Response Information Systems... The inability to easily and automatically exchange malaria-related data between systems has been a long-standing barrier to gathering and analyzing strategic information from many stakeholders - e.g. NGOs, academic institutions, research centres, census data, etc. - and exchanging data among stakeholders…

Breaking new ground… The hardest-hit countries, most of them in sub-Saharan Africa, have no alternative but to develop performing Malaria Response Information Systems (reliable software programs). Once developed, these innovative tools should provide appropriate platforms for a database to support monitoring and evaluation. More specifically, they should provide malaria-affected countries with the ability to store and analyze indicator, project and research data with those from other systems…

Malaria Response Information Systems: Tools for Mapping and Tracking Resources… Most malaria-affected countries still need to strengthen the use of strategic information to identify the human and financial resources and infrastructure they already have and to estimate where more resources are required. Unfortunately, most malaria-affected countries fail to carry out surveillance that would tell them which populations are most in need for services and even when data from such surveillance are available, some countries fail to select such populations as beneficiaries of services. Clearly, the follow-up of limited resources should be managed, so that they go to where they are most needed but often, government and donor policies intervene, so some key populations at higher risk are hardly served at all…

From crisis management to strategic response… In the final analysis, a number of standard monitoring and evaluation indicators have been developed, but there is still much work to be done in harmonizing and simplifying the indicators used by the many different stakeholders involved in the malaria response…

Dr Michel ODIKA (Congo-Brazzaville)

 

1. Observatoire du Paludisme: défi à relever (Michel ODIKA, Nouvel Observateur, Paris, 2013).