Surveillance and Response

The MEI’s current portfolio of work in surveillance and response includes:

Surveillance and response consist of the continuous, systematic collection, analysis and interpretation of disease specific data and use in planning, implementing and evaluating public health practice. As outlined in the World Health Organization’s Global Technical Strategy (2016–2030), surveillance is a core intervention required to detect outbreaks, identify programmatic and coverage gaps, assess the impact of interventions, and target a locally-tailored response.

Strong surveillance and response approaches are integral to every malaria program. In any malaria setting, the objective of a surveillance system is to enable the malaria program to respond to cases. Programs need to know where, when and in whom individual cases are occurring so that appropriate interventions, such as active case detection or targeted parasite elimination, can rapidly reduce residual transmission and prevent further spreading of malaria. Response can be as simple as treating a case that is detected at a health facility or it can be more complex, such as actively screening people in specific communities.

The MEI’s work on surveillance and response for malaria elimination includes:

  • Carrying out country-level research to provide evidence on the effectiveness of response strategies that are not part of standard practice and for which there is limited evidence to guide practice or policy.
  • Assisting countries in implementing practical MEI-developed tools which support country programs in safely introducing medications to treat malaria infections.
  • Conducting research in countries to establish the barriers, gaps, and challenges to introducing testing that is crucial for determining safe treatment options.
  • Playing a pivotal role in advocating for coordinated or multi-country response efforts, particularly within the context of regional collaborations.
  • Coordinating response-focused working groups and meetings and making recommendations to the WHO as a result of these consensus-building meetings.
  • Generating evidence and building consensus and capacity on use cases for malaria molecular surveillance (MMS) in southern Africa using a discovery-oriented research approach guided by programmatic priorities and grounded in collaborative efforts.
  • Supporting faster translation of MMS into programmatic use to improve understanding of factors driving transmission and guide selection and targeting of intervention strategies.