Africa: Annual SMERG Meeting Drives Digitalisation of Malaria Surveillance

The RBM Partnership to End Malaria hosted its 33rd meeting of the Surveillance, Monitoring, and Evaluation Reference Group (SMERG) from 17 to 20 May 2022 in Kigali, Rwanda. Discussions focused on ways to streamline surveillance, monitoring, and evaluation to sustain crucial gains and fully respond to emerging priorities in malaria control and elimination, including the use of digital technologies.

Malaria Consortium has been supporting surveillance activities in Africa and Asia since 2009. In particular, providing technical expertise to countries and regional platforms to support the development of smarter, data-informed surveillance strategies that will be key to achieving the World Health Organization’s (WHO) target of reducing malaria cases and deaths by 90 percent by 2030.

In May 2021, SMERG established the Surveillance Practice and Data Quality (SP&DQ) Committee to highlight malaria surveillance interventions, initiatives and projects and increase the awareness of the importance of malaria surveillance. The Committee gives opportunities for implementing partners and National Malaria Control Programs (NMCPs) to present projects, best practices as well as lessons learned through communication initiatives like the Malaria Routine Data in Action webinars, RBM SMERG SP&DQ Committee Newsletter and the new Malaria Surveillance Project Dashboard for tracking implementing partners’ operational surveillance projects.

Malaria Consortium developed a landscape analysis and survey for implementing partners, which was used to build the Dashboard. Malaria Consortium’s Head of Surveillance, Monitoring and Evaluation, Dr Arantxa Roca-Feltrer, co-leads the SP&DQ Committee and gave an update on RBM dashboards at the meeting. She commented: