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Open Access Highly Accessed Commentary

Surveillance considerations for malaria elimination

Victoria C Barclay1*, Rachel A Smith2 and Jill L Findeis3

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Biology and Center for Infectious Disease Dynamics, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA, USA

2 Department of Communication Arts & Sciences, Human Development & Family Studies, and Center for Infectious Disease Dynamics, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA, USA

3 Division of Applied Social Sciences (DASS), Agricultural & Applied Economics, CAFNR, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO, USA

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Malaria Journal 2012, 11:304  doi:10.1186/1475-2875-11-304

Published: 31 August 2012

Abstract

Constant malaria monitoring and surveillance systems have been highlighted as critical for malaria elimination. The absence of robust monitoring and surveillance systems able to respond to outbreaks in a timely manner undeniably contributed to the failure of the last global attempt to eradicate malaria. Today, technological advances could allow for rapid detection of focal outbreaks and improved deployment of diagnostic and treatment supplies to areas needing support. However, optimizing diffusion activities (e.g., distributing vector controls and medicines, as well as deploying behaviour change campaigns) requires networks of diverse scholars to monitor, learn, and evaluate data and multiple organizations to coordinate their intervention activities. Surveillance systems that can gather, store and process information, from communities to national levels, in a centralized, widely accessible system will allow tailoring of surveillance and intervention efforts. Different systems and, thus reactions, will be effective in different endemic, geographical or socio-cultural contexts. Investing in carefully designed monitoring technologies, built for a multiple-acter, dynamic system, will help to improve malaria elimination efforts by improving the coordination, timing, coverage, and deployment of malaria technologies.

Keywords:
Surveillance; Co-ordination; Data sharing; Data reservoir platforms