Original Research Article
Year: 2017 | Month: November | Volume: 7 | Issue: 11 | Pages: 197-209
An Evaluation of the Malaria Surveillance System of Chipinge District, Manicaland Province
Tinashe Kureya1, E. Chadambuka1, Maxwell Mhlanga2, Augustine Ndaimani2, Petty Makoni2
1Faculty of Health Sciences, Africa University
2College of Health Sciences, University of Zimbabwe
Corresponding Author: Maxwell Mhlanga
Introduction: Strengthening malaria surveillance is fundamental to programme planning and implementation and is crucial for accelerating progress. Globally, an estimated 3.2 billion people are at risk of being infected with malaria and developing the disease and of these 1.2 billion are at great risk. This study evaluated the malaria surveillance system of Chipinge district, Manicaland province.
Methodology: The study was based on a cross-sectional survey design. The target population included Health workers and community health cadres. Twenty seven (27) Health Workers (Nurses, Nurse Aides, environmental health technicians) and 12 Village health workers (VHW) from 12 Health facilities were selected based on systematic sampling. The participants were interviewed using a structured interview schedule. Key informants were the DEHO (District Environmental Health Officer), DHIO (District Health Information Officer) and the DMO (District Medical Officer). The sample size was calculated using Epi info 7. The evaluation consisted of a structured questionnaire and checklist for surveillance facilities at the health centres level. The checklist was used to determine availability and functionality.
Results: The assessment was based on the ability to recall key elements or objectives of the Weekly Disease Surveillance System (WDSS). Nineteen (70.4%) recalled at least two elements of the WDSS. Surprisingly, 11 (57.9%) who had less than five year in service recalled at least two elements compared to 8 (42.1%) who had been in service for more than 5 years. The Odds of the health worker not recalling at least 2 elements of the WDSS is 1.212 (95% CI=0.22; 6.61) higher if they had less than 5 years on duty compared to those with at least 5 years on duty. All the 27 respondents perceived the Malaria surveillance system as useful, flexible, acceptable and easy to operate. However there is a gap of the absence of a spot maps that shows distribution of Malaria and other health events.
Conclusion: The Malaria Surveillance system of Chipinge district is acceptable, flexible, useful and simple. However, the system has some limitations on usefulness, stability, timeliness and completeness of VHW reports. Some health workers at health facility levels are not yet able to interpret the surveillance data for early detection and management of outbreaks hence the need for further training.
Key words: Malaria Surveillance, Evaluation, Spot Maps, Health Workers