Surveillance is the continuous collection, collation, analysis and interpretation of data on a systematic and ongoing basis, together with the feedback and timely dissemination of information to those who need it for action. It involves the evaluation of disease-specific data and the use of that data in planning, implementation and evaluation of public health practices (WHO, 2018). It is therefore, the basis of activities in any level of transmission to support the reduction in the burden of malaria, eliminate the disease and prevent its re-establishment. Malaria surveillance is considered to be key among all the interventions as it goes beyond routine data collection (Surveillance Guidelines for Malaria Elimination and Prevention of Reintroduction for SA, 2012)
Malaria control and elimination are complementary objectives in the global fight against malaria. In the past few years, efforts to control Malaria have been boosted with the increase in international funding and greater political development. The Malaria burden reported in a number of countries globally has reduced, including some African countries where the burden of Malaria is highest. Such achievements raise hope for the eradication of Malaria (Mendis et al., 2009). Malaria control and elimination are under the constant threat of the parasite and vector mosquito developing resistance to medicines and insecticides, which are the cornerstones of current antimalarial interventions. The prospects of malaria eradication, therefore, rest heavily on the outcomes of research and development for new and improved tools.
Surveillance is a fundamental tool that must be included in any approach to the problem of controlling communicable diseases. A well-designed surveillance system allows for rapid identification of increases in cases of communicable diseases in an affected area, signaling the need for a specific response. The success of a surveillance system rests on the availability of a functional communication and logistical infrastructure that allows for timely information transfer among all users of the system (WHO, 2018).
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