Strengthening Malaria Reporting in Mali

Aug 2015
Credit: Chris Thomas/USAID

For a number of years, the President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI) and other partners have supported the national malaria control program (NMCP) in Mali to develop a reporting system for routine malaria data. The purpose of this reporting system is to increase the availability and quality of malaria data in order to help monitor trends in disease burden and the impact of interventions.

The NMCP’s malaria information system, supported by PMI, was designed to collect data on all the indicators needed for management including data on testing, confirmed malaria cases, and treatment with artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT). The system also collects data on stockouts of essential malaria drugs (e.g., ACT and sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine) and commodities (e.g., insecticide-treated mosquito nets and rapid diagnostic tests). To improve the availability and usefulness of the data, two novel approaches to transfer data were tested: 1) mobile reporting (SMS) directly from the community health facilities; and 2) electronic entry and uploading of data at the district level. These data are then available through a password-protected website for managers at all levels of the system. The system was initially rolled out to 18 health districts in 3 regions of Mali, with plans to expand to additional districts in the coming year.

A recent evaluation found that SMS reporting directly from the facility was associated with significant improvements in the timeliness and completeness of routine monthly reports when compared with reporting systems that rely on the transfer of paper records to the district. Mali is beginning implementation of a new software tool for routine reporting at the health facility level. The PMI-funded team is ensuring that this malaria information system will eventually be incorporated into the health management information system, so quality data on malaria programming will be collected from all regions of the country.

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