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Open Access Driving towards malaria elimination in Botswana by 2018: progress on case-based surveillance, 2013–2014

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Background: Reliable information reporting systems ensure that all malaria cases are tested, treated and tracked to avoid further transmission. Botswana aimed to eliminate malaria by 2018, and surveillance is key. This study focused on assessing the uptake of the new malaria case-based surveillance (CBS) system introduced in 2012, which captures information on malaria cases reported in the Integrated Disease Surveillance and Response (IDSR) system.

Methods: This was a retrospective descriptive study based on routine data focusing on Ngami, Chobe and Okavango, three high-risk districts in Botswana. Aggregated data variables were extracted from the IDSR and compared with data from the CBS.

Results: The IDSR reported 456 malaria cases in 2013 and 1346 in 2014, of which respectively only 305 and 884 were reported by the CBS. The CBS reported 34% fewer cases than the IDSR system, indicating substantial differences between the two systems. The key malaria indicators with the greatest variability among the districts included in the study were case identification number and date of diagnosis.

Conclusion: The IDSR and CBS systems are essential for malaria elimination, as shown by the significant gaps in reporting between the two systems. These findings highlight the need for further investigation into these discrepancies. Strengthening the CBS system will help to reach the objective of malaria elimination in Botswana.
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Keywords: Botswana; SORT IT; malaria; operational research; surveillance

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: National Malaria Programme, Ministry of Health, Gaborone, Botswana 2: Operational Centre Brussels, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), Luxembourg City, Luxembourg 3: Inter-Country Support Team, World Health Organization (WHO), Harare, Zimbabwe 4: WHO Country Office for Botswana, Gaborone, Botswana 5: Botswana University of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Gaborone, Botswana 6: International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease, Paris, France 7: International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease, Paris, France, Operational Centre Brussels, MSF, Luxembourg City, Luxembourg 8: Academic Model Providing Access to Healthcare (AMPATH), Eldoret, Kenya

Publication date: April 25, 2018

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  • Public Health Action (PHA), The Union's quarterly open access on-line journal, provides a platform for its mission 'Health solutions for the poor'. PHA addresses the need for show-casing operational research that addresses issues in health systems and services. It publishes high-quality scientific research that provides new knowledge to improve access, equity, quality and efficiency of health systems and services.

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