4
Essential Components/Design of an Optimal Malaria Control Program

A basic malaria control program combines five components: a public health surveillance system, curative services, preventive interventions, a program for community involvement, and a capacity to perform special studies (operational research) as needed. Briefly, a public health surveillance system is required to monitor temporal changes in disease incidence, to warn of epidemics, and to evaluate the impact of control efforts. This is obviously important for more than just malaria, and a well-designed and integrated surveillance system provides an essential tool for monitoring a rapidly changeable health situation. Curative services include the provision of prompt diagnosis of malaria and an assessment of its severity, diagnosis of malaria-associated anemia and other potential consequences of the disease, and prompt and effective treatment of both malaria and anemia. Preventive interventions are essential for limiting malaria-associated morbidity and mortality that would not be achievable through curative services alone. Prevention would include some combination of preventive use of antimalarial drugs, encouraging use of personal protection measures, introducing insecticide-treated bed nets, and vector control. The success or failure of any public health program is determined in large part by the public’s acceptance and proper use of the services offered. Therefore, a program to establish a high degree of community involvement is an important, albeit often underappreciated, component of a malaria control program. Finally, agencies should develop a capacity to conduct simple operational research to answer specific questions, to evaluate the impact of interventions, to improve the implementation of interventions, and to test novel approaches to implementing specific interventions.



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Malaria Control During Mass Population Movements and Natural Disasters 4 Essential Components/Design of an Optimal Malaria Control Program A basic malaria control program combines five components: a public health surveillance system, curative services, preventive interventions, a program for community involvement, and a capacity to perform special studies (operational research) as needed. Briefly, a public health surveillance system is required to monitor temporal changes in disease incidence, to warn of epidemics, and to evaluate the impact of control efforts. This is obviously important for more than just malaria, and a well-designed and integrated surveillance system provides an essential tool for monitoring a rapidly changeable health situation. Curative services include the provision of prompt diagnosis of malaria and an assessment of its severity, diagnosis of malaria-associated anemia and other potential consequences of the disease, and prompt and effective treatment of both malaria and anemia. Preventive interventions are essential for limiting malaria-associated morbidity and mortality that would not be achievable through curative services alone. Prevention would include some combination of preventive use of antimalarial drugs, encouraging use of personal protection measures, introducing insecticide-treated bed nets, and vector control. The success or failure of any public health program is determined in large part by the public’s acceptance and proper use of the services offered. Therefore, a program to establish a high degree of community involvement is an important, albeit often underappreciated, component of a malaria control program. Finally, agencies should develop a capacity to conduct simple operational research to answer specific questions, to evaluate the impact of interventions, to improve the implementation of interventions, and to test novel approaches to implementing specific interventions.