You need to know where malaria is before you can combat it.
Knowing exactly who has malaria and where they live is necessary information for anyone trying to control or eliminate the disease. If one person is infected with malaria they can infect another person, and they another, and another. Every day that passes for a malaria-infected person is one more day that they can possibly contribute to someone else becoming infected. Curing malaria promptly is one way to stop this infection process.
To cure every malaria case promptly, one must first find all malaria cases, then make sure those who have the disease receive medication, and all of this in timely fashion. Every day that passes for a malaria-infected person is one more day that they can possibly infect someone else. Time is of the essence.
Click here to download a PDF summary of the Community-level surveillance program.
Amplifying systems like this is a major challenge. Introduce technologies that are too fancy, and you risk creating dependencies that are unsustainable. If you aim too low, by contrast, the problem risks going unfixed.
As a result of this system, Zambian community health workers detected and treated thousands of malaria cases that otherwise would have likely been missed by the routine health system.
This system has increased access to care in rural areas and is supporting Zambia’s progress to malaria elimination by finding remaining malaria infections and providing treatment to stop transmission.