Category Archives: Surveillance

Malaria Highlights at TropMed2013 Saturday 16th November

Below please find a brief list of some of the presentations coming up today at the American Society of Tropical Medicine 62nd Annual Conference in Washington DC. Click links to view abstracts.


Rapid clearance of parasitemia by the novel spiroindolone KAE609 in a phase 2 open-label study of adults with acute, uncomplicated Plasmodium falciparum or vivax malaria mono-infection by Nicholas White et al.

In summary, when administered 30 mg daily for 3 days, KAE609 was well tolerated and achieved rapid parasite clearance in adult patients with uncomplicated P. vivax or P. falciparum malaria infection.

Symposium on Implementation of Mass Drug Administration for Malaria Control and Elimination. Symposium Organizer: Roly Gosling, Global Health Group, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco

With the recognition that a large proportion of malaria infections are low density, below the level of detection by microscopy or Rapid Diagnostic Test, MDA is coming back into favor. The speakers will explore the drug choices available for MDA in different settings; for example, for P. falciparum settings in Haiti, The Gambia and the Artemsisinin Resistance Containment zone, and for P. vivax in Asia and the Pacific.

Innovative Field Tools for Detecting Counterfeit Medicines – The Case Study of Anti-Malarials. Symposium Organizer: JOEL BREMAN, FOGARTY INTERNATIONAL CENTER, NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH

The need for innovative field tools for the detection of spurious/falsely-labelled/falsified/counterfeit medicines is becoming increasingly important, particularly in low-resource settings. A global public health crisis is looming, especially in malaria treatment and prevention, where up to 90 percent of antimalarials in surveys done in Asia and Africa are reported to be falsified or substandard.

Session: Malaria Epidemiology – Tracking Trends and Finding Foci, Village-level characteristics associated with spatial distributions of malaria-infected individuals in an area of Southern Zambia receiving mass screening and treatment by David A Larson et al.

Varying spatial distributions of malaria-infected individuals appear to be driven by vector abundance and gametocyte prevalence in the population. The ability to clearly delineate village malaria prevalence may assist in developing mechanisms for focused interventions to optimize their effectiveness.

Session: Malaria Epidemiology – Tracking Trends and Finding Foci. Reservoirs of asymptomatic malaria in Malawi: results of two cross-sectional studies by Jenny A. Walldorf et al.

In Malawi and potentially in other endemic settings, school age children represent important reservoirs of asymptomatic infection and should be targeted for interventions to interrupt transmission.

Session: Malaria Epidemiology – Tracking Trends and Finding Foci. Sustained Declining Burden of Malaria at Community level in Northeastern Tanzania. by Acleus S. Rutta et al.

The reported decline of malaria in most parts of Tanzania has some implication on accuracy of malaria diagnosis and management. The current remarkable and sustained decline in malaria suggests that these areas might be moving from control to pre-elimination levels.

Eliminate Malaria, Not Malaria Funding

As countries begin to see the benefits of sustained malaria intervention, they worry that they may be punished by donor agencies for their success. For example, The Tanzania Daily News reports that, “HEALTH officials in Zanzibar have said that the Islands are likely to experience problems in the fight against Malaria should major donors, including Global Fund and the United States government pull out from financing the project.”

dscn9801a.jpgZanzibar is nearing pre-elimintion malaria transmission levels but is dependent on donor funding to maintain progress. The Daily News specifies that, “The US through its President’s Malaria Initiatives (PMI) remains the leading financier with 56 per cent of the funds received for the malaria campaign. Global Fund is 40 per cent, WHO and UNICEF two per cent; other donors 1.97 per cent; and Zanzibar government is 0.03 per cent.”

Health officials did clarify the actual situation by saying that, “We are happy that PMI has not shown any indication to pull out, but we must prepare ourselves and look for alternative financiers should the US stop supporting Malaria programme.” A look at the latest grant progress report for Zanzibar at the Global Fund website had only a report from August 2012 for Round 8 Malaria Grant that was made near the end of Phase 1 of the grant.

It is not clear if Phase 2 of the Global Fund grant has been or will be funded, but we know that the GFATM has been going through financial difficulties and changes.  This is likely why Zanzibar health managers are worried. The last grant rating was files back in 2011 and gave the program a ‘B2’ rating which is cause for caution and possibly hints at reasons why Phase 2 is in limbo.

PMI reports that donor support and Zanzibari leadership, “has resulted in a dramatic decrease in malaria prevalence in Zanzibar. However, persistence of malaria transmission in surrounding areas (Tanzania mainland and Kenya) leaves the island vulnerable to sudden outbreaks and the re-establishment of ongoing, perennial malaria transmission.” Even though Zanzibar is an island, it is still vulnerable, and any withdrawal of support would negate and reverse gains made. For example, PMI explains that Zanzibar is a place where “Malaria Early Epidemic Detection System (MEEDS) … an innovative mHealth system” is being tested.

Pre-elimination not only requires sustaining existing interventions, but also implementing new ones like MEEDS in order to maintain necessary surveillance that will ultimately document whether malaria elimination has succeeded. As PMI notes, “MEEDS and Coconut Surveillance are helping Zanzibar to identify and treat many otherwise undiagnosed malaria cases, identifying hot spots and transmission patterns, and responding rapidly to new outbreaks. These mHealth applications are helping Zanzibar to sustain the remarkable gains it has made against this dangerous and debilitating disease.”

Also, “maintaining and continuing to reduce malaria transmission will require ongoing education for both health care providers and residents to reinforce the importance of using preventive measures,” as the public and health workers perceive the drop in prevalence according to Bauch and colleagues. Malaria prevalence in Zanzibar has been less that 1% for over 6 years, and we need to continue to reduce it.

Interventions in the final phases of malaria elimination may not be as dramatic or visible as distributing millions of insecticide treated bednets, but they are just as essential.  We need to maintain support in all endemic countries until we see malaria elimination through to its conclusion. Otherwise years of intervention will be wasted, and new lives will be lost.

Addressing the Barriers of a Malaria Implementation Program in Jacmel, Haiti

Mary E. Schmidt, M.D. has studied the malaria situation in Haiti for her MPH capstone project at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. She has shared the abstract of the project with us here.

pf_class_2010_htism.jpgBackground:  Hispaniola is the only Caribbean island still endemic for malaria.  While the Dominican Republic continues to see improvement in the use of prevention measures and malaria rates, Haiti has been unable to organize, operate and fund a sustainable program.  The city of Jacmel in the South East District has the capacity to create a successful program.

Materials and Methods:  A literature review was performed of population based surveillance studies to understand the epidemiology of malaria in Haiti and the South East District. Individuals were interviewed to understand the Minister of Public Health and Population (MSPP) malaria policy and the current epidemiologic practices.  Haitian physicians and CBO workers were observed and interviewed to understand how malaria is diagnosed and treated, how patients are educated and the current community malaria prevention programs.

A literature review was performed of  materials from malaria experts, the World Health Organization (WHO), Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) and The Global Fund to better understand the components of a successful malaria elimination program.

Results:  This review focused on the current barriers of a malaria implementation program in Jacmel and the national system that would prevent a successful program.   The review led to the creation of a malaria elimination framework for Jacmel and the South East District.

The framework emphasizes a strong management and operations component.  The MSPP office communicates with finance, surveillance, the district health officer, and the operations team.  For a functional system, operations and management communicates with the MSPP oversight team and receives input from finance and surveillance in order to manage training, deployment, communications and local surveillance.

Monitoring and Evaluation is done on a district level and reported to district operations to help with managing the program and to the surveillance team.  Recommendations for policy development include focus on diagnostics, specific treatment, vector control, education and monitoring.  Barriers include funding and implementing an adequate operation and deployment team.

Conclusion:  The implementation of an effective malaria elimination program in Haiti will require MSPP leadership oversight and a strong operations and management team in each district.  The city of Jacmel in the South East District has the  interest and support from local CBOs and business leaders that make it the ideal location to implement the framework and create a sustainable program.

Malaria Vector Bionomics During the Dry Season in Nchelenge District, Zambia

Smita Das and Douglas E Norris of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health Department of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology and Johns Hopkins Malaria Research Institute have written our guest blog posting based on a poster they presented at the recent JHU Global Health Day.

picture1-smita-das-and-douglas-norris-jhmri-sm.jpgAs part of the International Centers of Excellence in Malaria Research (ICEMR) in Southern Africa project, mosquito collections are being conducted in Nchelenge District in Luapula Province, Zambia. Nchelenge experiences hyperendemic malaria despite continued implementation of indoor residual spraying (IRS) and long-lasting insecticide nets (LLINs) as control measures.

Center for Disease Control light trap (CDC LT) and pyrethroid spray catch (PSC) collections performed during the wet season in April 2012 revealed the presence of both Anopheles gambiae s.s. and An. funestus s.s. Both species were highly anthropophilic and the Plasmodium falciparum sporozoite infection rate in An. funestus was higher compared to An. gambiae.

In the dry season collections, An. funestus continued to be the dominant species with even fewer An. gambiae caught compared to the wet season.  Due to the abundance of An. funestus and high human malaria infection rates in Nchelenge, it is predicted that the human blood index and entomological inoculation rate for An. funestus is higher than that of An. gambiae in both seasons.

The multiple blood feeding behavior and insecticide resistance status of both malaria vectors will also be explored as this can give us an idea of estimating the transmission potential of these mosquitoes. The vector data in Nchelenge present unique opportunities to further our understanding of malaria transmission and the implications for malaria control in high-risk areas.

Investing in Foresight, not Just Hindsight for Malaria Elimination

wmd2013logo-sm.jpgThe 2015 Millennium Development Goals milestone of reducing malaria morbidity and mortality is sometimes hard to see from here because of the many carts that got ahead of the horses and clogged the road.  We discussed earlier this week about the big push for universal coverage with long lasting insecticide-treated nets that got ahead of thoughts and plans for disposing the net packaging as well as old nets in an environmentally sound way.

Only a few efforts are underway to find a solution to old net disposal. In fact the need to replace LLINs much sooner than expected because of less than desired durability in real life field settings was another cart that surprised some horses and may lead to stock-outs in the next few years as financial sources for nets are not as certain as before.

A classic example ‘carthorsology’ is the roll out of artemisinin-based combination therapy medicines long before appropriate, easy to use diagnostic procedures were in place. Certainly we needed to save lives, but while most endemic African countries replaced first line drugs to which parasites had developed resistance with ACTs between 2005 and 2008, there was no alternative to clinical diagnosis in place.

Hopes that net use and other preventive measures would bring down the demand for ACTs were thwarted when health workers had to rely on their clinical judgment and continued to prescribe the more expensive ACTs presumptively just as they had done for the cheaper chloroquine and sulphadoxine-pyrimethamine. When RDTs finally became more common, there was an uphill battle to convince health workers that their clinical diagnosis was no longer acceptable.

In actuality, RDT supplies are still not matching need – i.e. enough to test all fevers and suspected cases of malaria. So in hindsight we are rushing to invest more heavily in RDTs and health worker diagnostic training and trying to find ways to safely dispose old nets.

roadmaps2012.pngProcesses like RoapMap planning sponsored by RBM and WHO are certainly moving us in the right direction that views holistically the totality of the malaria intervention package intervention. One wonders though if any other carts lie unforeseen ahead to block our horses.

One example of needed foresight is the development of appropriate strategies for end game pre-elimination and elimination.  In particular are appropriate surveillance systems in place?

Donors, especially the Global Fund seem reluctant to support the challenges of pre-elimination in countries like Swaziland, Namibia, Solomon Islands and others who are on the frontline of the elimination effort.  Fortunately the Clinton Health Initiative is one of those with foresight.  Hopefully we can keep investing in the forward march without additional unforeseen diversions in the RoadMaps.

Household Survey Used to Study Human Population Movement on Malaria Transmission in Southern Zambia

Karen E. Kirk, a MSPH-Internal Health Candidate at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health has written this guest posting based on a poster she presented at the School’s Global Health Day earlier this month.

The inability to eliminate malaria in low endemic settings due to importation by infected individuals is considered a potential barrier in the fight to eradicate malaria worldwide.  Individuals living in the rural Choma District, Southern Province, Zambia have seen a dramatic decline in malaria since 2007 with the implementation of malaria control programs that include active case detection; mass distribution of insecticidal treated nets (ITNs); and widespread use of indoor residual spraying (IRS).  However, malaria elimination has still not been achieved in this region of the country.

blog-kirk-field-staff-collecting-blood-samples-2.jpgThe first photo shows field staff collecting blood samples from household members to test for malaria parasitemia in Choma District

A household survey was conducted in the Choma District to assess human population movement (HPM) and its association with confirmed or suspected malaria cases of individuals living in the district. The survey looked at travel history of 196 individuals from 42 randomly selected households between December 2012 and March 2013.  It collected data on travel patterns of individuals from the previous 4 weeks who stayed overnight for at least one night outside of their village. In addition, it collected blood sample for the testing of malaria parasitemia.  This survey was included in both the longitudinal and cross-sectional household surveys being conducted by the International Centers of Excellence in Malaria Research (ICEMR).

blog-kirk-community-survey-2.jpgThe second photo shows Field staff conducting malaria community health and HPM survey with mother in Choma District

Of the 196 individuals surveyed there were 97 (49.5%) adults (ages >17), and 99 (51.5%) children (<17).  There were a total of 34 trips taken by 31 (15.8%) individuals, 18 adults and 13 children. The majority of these individuals (59.3%) traveled for 7 days or less and 27 (87.1%) individuals traveled within the Choma District.  No malaria cases were detected in this study and therefore the results of this preliminary data were not able to show an association between HPM and malaria incidence rates.  However, with an increase in data collected over time, trends could be ascertained to determine seasonal patterns with HPM and its impact on malaria incidence rates in this hypoendemic setting.  The hope is that with adequate funding in malaria research with HPM, these types of studies can contribute important information on malaria transmission and help achieve the goal of regional elimination and ultimately eradication of this harmful disease.

[Bill Moss of JHSPH served as Principal Investor of this project]

Malaria Funding from the Perspective of International Donors

The recently released 2012 World Malaria Report (WMR) brought in to focus both malaria progress as well as the charges in malaria funding for the 104 malaria-endemic countries. Increased rates of coverage with vector control and malaria case management measures has mean that 274 million cases and 1.1 million deaths have been averted between 2001 and 2010. Unfortunately, The WMR observes that, “The enormous progress achieved appears to have slowed recently. International funding for malaria control has leveled off, and is projected to remain substantially below” projected needs.

We are not talking about small amounts of money or minor contributions to date. The WRM reports that, “The past decade has witnessed tremendous expansion in the financing and implementation of malaria control programmes. International disbursements for malaria control rose steeply from less than US$ 100 million in 2000 to US$ 1.71 billion in 2010 and were estimated to be US$ 1.66 billion in 2011 and US$ 1.84 billion in 2012.” This must be put in context with amounts estimated to be needed to achieve universal coverage (including use) of the major prevention and treatment interventions.

The WMR explains that “The enormous progress achieved appears to have slowed recently.” As noted above international funding for malaria control has leveled off, and “is projected to remain substantially below the US$ 5.1 billion” annually required to achieve and maintain universal coverage of malaria interventions. The Roll Back Malaria Partnership has estimated a higher projected annual need. “Resource requirements for global malaria prevention, control and elimination were estimated in the GMAP (Global Malaria Action Plan) to amount to some US$6.1 billion annually between 2012 and 2015.” This figure includes both program management costs as well as research needed to develop new tools.

The link between funding and coverage is clear in the WMR. The number of ITNs procured in 2012 (66 million) is far lower than in 2011 (92 million) and 2010 (145 million). “With the average useful life of ITNs estimated to be 2 to3 years, ITN coverage is expected to decrease if ITNs are not replaced in 2013.” Recent reports from a regional malaria elimination meeting in Kigali show that replacement time may be even shorter, possibly every 18-24 months based on local use and environmental conditions.

When identifying what is happening in malaria financing, it is important to recognize that there are relatively few direct donors. Major international malaria funders accounting for over 90% of donor financing are Global Fund, US President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI), Department for International Development (DfID), World Bank, and AusAid. Others include bilateral assistance, corporate donors and foundations.

international-funding-sm.jpgThe Global Fund as an entity and as the sum of its country contributors shocked the malaria and global health communities in 2011 when it announced the cancellation of its Round 11 of annual funding. The situation was complex and reflected weak financial pledging and inputs as well as internal management issues. The new funding approach was discussed in the WMR.  There are some uncertainties causing concern for the malaria community.

According to the 2012 WMR, “countries will be grouped by the Global Fund into Country Bands based upon a composite score which is a combination of a country’s GNI and its disease burden. Then there will be a “global disease split (i.e. 52% for HIV, 32% for malaria and16% for TB), until a new formula is determined, the Board,” that will be combined with a split according to Bands.  Finally actual allocation decisions will be made by the country coordination mechanisms (CCMs).  Malaria appears to be in greater direct competition with the other two diseases than what obtained in the past.  How other donors will compensate for any country shortfalls is unknown at present.

One possible implication of bands is that there may be less focus on lower burden countries that are heading toward malaria elimination.  Just because disease burden is low, or becomes low due to effective intervention does not mean that funding is not needed. Continued surveillance and case containment activities are not cheap, and require constant vigilance and sustained efforts since not all of one’s neighboring countries are at the same stage of malaria elimination.

Low prevalence of placental malaria infection among pregnant women in Zanzibar: policy implications for IPTp

A Poster Presentation at the 61st Annual Meeting of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, 11-15 November 2012, Atlanta.

Marya Plotkin1, Khadija Said2, Natalie Hendler1, Asma R. Khamis1, Mwinyi I. Msellem3, Maryjane Lacoste1, Elaine Roman4, Veronica Ades5, Julie Gutman6, Raz Stevenson7, Peter McElroy8 – 1Jhpiego, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, United Republic of, 2Ministry of Health Zanzibar, Zanzibar, Tanzania, United Republic of, 3Zanzibar Malaria Control Programme, Zanzibar, Tanzania, United Republic of, 4Jhpiego, Baltimore, MD, United States, 5University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, CA, United States, 6Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and President’s Malaria Initiative, Atlanta, GA, United States, 7United States Agency for International Development, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, United Republic of, 8Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and President’s Malaria Initiative, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, United Republic of

Efforts by the Zanzibar Ministry of Health to scale-up malaria prevention and treatment strategies, including intermittent preventive treatment for pregnant women (IPTp), have brought Zanzibar to the pre-elimination phase of malaria control. P. falciparum prevalence in the general population has been below 1% since 2008 and the diagnostic positivity rate among febrile patients was 1.2% in 2011.

dsc00497_tz-sm.jpgZanzibar implemented IPTp using sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine (SP) in 2004 when malaria prevalence exceeded 20%. While coverage among pregnant women is low (47% received two doses SP), the value of this intervention in low transmission settings remains uncertain. Few countries in Africa have confronted policy questions regarding timing of IPTp scale-down.

We designed a prospective observational study to estimate prevalence of placental malaria among pregnant women with no evidence of receiving any dose of SP for IPTp during pregnancy. From September 2011 to April 2012 we enrolled a convenience sample of pregnant women on day of delivery at six hospitals in Zanzibar (three in both Pemba and Unguja).

Dried blood spots (DBS) on filter paper were prepared from placental blood specimens. DBS were analyzed via polymerase chain reaction indicating active Plasmodium infection (all species). To date, over 1,200 deliveries were enrolled at the six recruitment sites (approximately 12% of total, range: 8-26%). Two (0.19%; 95% CI, 0.05-0.69%) of 1,046 DBS specimens analyzed to date showed evidence of P. falciparum infection. Both were from HIV uninfected, multigravid women in Unguja.

Birth weights for both deliveries were normal (>2500 g). Data collection will continue through the peak transmission season of May-July 2012. The very low prevalence of placental infection among women who received no IPTp raises policy questions regarding continuation of IPTp in Zanzibar. Alternative efforts to control malaria in pregnancy in Zanzibar, such as active case detection via regular screening and treatment during antenatal visits, should be evaluated.

Hurricanes and Malaria

As deadly Hurricane Sandy has traipsed across the Caribbean and heads for the US East Coast, we think about the equally dangerous aftermath of such tropical storms.  Below are excerpts from articles that examine the devastating effect hurricanes afterwards by increasing malaria and other mosquito-borne diseases.

sandy-14-20121025-203625p_sm-2.gifScientific American reports that so far, “Sandy killed at least 66 people as it made its way through the Caribbean islands, including 51 in Haiti, mostly from flash flooding and mudslides, according to authorities.” If it is like other storms it may also leave disease in its wake.

Kouadio and colleagues stress the need for risk assessment because, “Natural disasters including floods, tsunamis, earthquakes, tropical cyclones (e.g., hurricanes and typhoons) and tornadoes have been secondarily described with the following infectious diseases including diarrheal diseases, acute respiratory infections, malaria, leptospirosis, measles, dengue fever, viral hepatitis, typhoid fever, meningitis, as well as tetanus and cutaneous mucormycosis.”

Immediately after a tropical storm Anopheles species may temporarily decrease, while other disease carrying mosquitoes may increase, but public health officials need to remain on guard. In contrast two mosquito-borne Infections, malaria and West Nile, were found after Hurricane Jeanne in Haiti in 2004. Campanella referred to the challenges for infectious disease surveillance and the reliability of the results under such post-storm conditions as happened after Hurricane Mitch in Nicaragua.

Reliable surveillance and response is crucial as countries, especially in the Americas, move closer to pre-elimination. Natural disasters can not only destabilize control and surveillance operations, but may enhance disease spread.  Emergency preparedness and response should always include a focus on the diseases that storms leave behind.

Surveillance, Monitoring and Evaluation as Rwanda Moves Towards Malaria Elimination

Rwanda’s First Malaria Forum has just concluded in Kigali, producing recommendations to help the country, which is already experiencing very low levels of malaria transmission, develop strategies for the path to malaria elimination. After a series of informative talks other countries in the region and international support organizations, working groups distilled the learning from the forum into suggestions for strategic planning. Below we present the deliberations of the Working Group on Surveillance, Monitoring and Evaluation. Group members included Irenee Umulisa, J. Bosco Ahoranayezu, John MacArthur, Arielle Mancuso, Aafje Rietveld, Eric Tongren, Anna Winters.


Preamble: A paradigm change is necessary within the national malaria surveillance system in order to take Rwanda from the stage of malaria control to pre-elimination. Stratification (epidemiological, entomological and environmental) will be used as the basis for applying different programme approaches in the different parts in the country, including surveillance approaches. In high burden strata, the quality of malaria control surveillance will be optimized. In low endemic strata, WHO recommended elimination surveillance approaches will be piloted and gradually introduced to field-try forms & procedures and build systems capacity.

Goals and Vision: By 2017, every febrile patient on the Rwandan territory will visit a health facility within 48 hours for diagnosis and treatment. Under 5s will be treated at community level within 24 hours. A microscopy and RDT quality assurance system (including external quality control) will be in place, ensuring reliable diagnosis at all diagnostic facilities. Every malaria case diagnosed with RDT and treated at community level will be reported to the health center level within 24 hours, accompanied by a microscopy slide for confirmation of diagnosis.

All malaria cases will be reported into one centralized HMIS, irrespective of the health providers who diagnosed and treated them (public, private, community, army, etc.) and irrespective of the way they were detected (ACD, PCD, surveys).

Health centers in low and moderate malaria burden strata will carry out “enhanced malaria surveillance” allowing foci investigation and classification. Health centers in endemic areas will forward line-listings of patients (ideally also with information about recent travel) to the district level with copy to the central level on weekly basis. Central level will compile from these data weekly updated mapping by village level and track cases against epidemic thresholds.

Strategic objectives and action points:

By 2012, update the stratification map of Rwanda’s malaria burden by including data from HMIS, SIS-COM and any other sources of malaria patient data that may be available. The objective is to be all-inclusive: in malaria elimination every case counts. A more in-depth stratification using entomological and environmental variables and intervention coverage will follow.

  • Merge SIS-COM (community) data collection with existing HMI
  • Use the map to identify 3-4 zones for stratification of surveillance and intervention methods based upon malaria burden.

By 2013, develop/update the surveillance plan to direct the MOH malaria surveillance strategies over the coming 5 years within the changing epidemiological settings, with a view to (a) attain malaria pre-elimination programme status in low and moderate burden strata by 2017; and (b) maintain and improve upon the current control achievements in higher burden strata.

  • Improve and coordinate data management and timeliness.
  • Include a plan for human resources necessary to undertake enhanced surveillance.
  • Include a timeline to achieve strategic objectives and action points.

By 2014, set up the systems to enable and ensure that all suspected malaria cases (100%) are diagnostically confirmed using available tools and in a timely fashion within both public and private clinics.

  • Develop (guided by OR) for each strata a clear case definition of a suspected malaria case who should be tested, ranging from a broad definition (fever) in highly endemic areas to a more restricted definition (perhaps including a travel history or additional symptoms) in low endemic areas. Communicate these definitions to all health care providers and the public in the various strata. The purpose is to ensure that every potential malaria case is promptly tested, without unduly overburdening the health workers in low endemic areas.
  • Monitor the use of antimalarials by various health facilities against the numbers of cases diagnosed and reported.

By 2015, pilot “enhanced malaria surveillance” in 1-3 low endemic districts

  • In low and moderate burden areas, begin line listing all confirmed malaria cases including travel history and household location with the goal to map cases (2015-2017). Focus initial line listing and case mapping within Kigali or another accessible low burden district (2013).
  • By 2014, engage the private sector physicians in Kigali for cooperation in malaria surveillance activities (working with the Rwanda medical association). Enforce full cooperation of the private sector by 2017. Restrict availability of antimalarial medicines to registered facilities with access to diagnostic capacity.
  • In low and moderate burden areas, begin collecting weekly malaria data at the health facility level.
  • Gradually include immediate notification and due programme follow up (investigation, classification) of cases detected, starting with one district where this seems doable.
  • Explore business/private coalitions to support a longer term vision of a malaria-free Kigali / tourism areas.

By 2015, pilot line listing in one endemic district, increasing to all endemic districts by 2017

  • Integrate training and data management into existing community health worker programs.
  • Develop and deploy a system for active case detection (ACD) as part of case investigation at the community level.
  • Map all confirmed cases which are passively and actively detected.
  • Develop epidemic thresholds for comparison against weekly case loads.

By 2013, review and start to address the factors that contribute to malaria mortality in Rwanda.

  • Conduct death audits for all reported malaria cases that occurred in 2012. The purpose is to identify risk factors for delays in treatment / inadequate treatment that can be addressed by NMCP programme interventions. Use this study to strengthen collaboration of the NMCP with the national school of public health (or equivalent) by engaging a team of university students / scientists in the study.
  • Explore possibilities for increasing the use of pre-referral treatment with rectal artesunate, based on an understanding of the barriers and behaviours for accessing pre-referral treatment.
  • By 2015, carry out death audits for all reported malaria deaths as they occur, to adjust and target programme interventions.

Continue drug and insecticide resistance monitoring to guide drug and insecticide policies.


  • By 2014, initiate “enhanced malaria surveillance” following WHO recommended strategies for the elimination phase in 1 low endemic district, increasing to 3 districts by 2015 and all low-endemic districts by 2017. This includes investigation, classification and mapping of cases and transmission foci.
  • By 2015, institute line listing in one endemic district, increasing to all endemic districts by 2017.
  • Encourage and facilitate information sharing among all partners in malaria control.
  • Use available resources in a manner that allows continued high quality surveillance in endemic areas combined with gradual introduction of elimination approaches in low endemic districts. Adopt the philosophy of first building up enhanced surveillance systems and then expanding the system as resources and malaria burdens allow.
  • Consider including Kigali within the first pilot districts for enhanced surveillance, given the low prevalence and focalized transmission patterns, and to encourage political will.
  • Conduct death audits in order to measure progress towards the goal of zero malaria deaths.