Côte d’Ivoire Institutionalizes Data Visualization and Interpretation through Quarterly Malaria Bulletins
Imagine looking at a complex spreadsheet filled with numbers across columns and rows. The numbers swirl around on the page, difficult to follow, let alone interpret. Good quality data alone is not sufficient to make decisions—data must be accessible and easy to interpret to be used by decision makers to make program or policy improvements.
The data must first be analyzed to generate health statistics that address key health questions regarding program performance for stakeholders at all levels of the health system. The analyzed data should be presented visually and tailored to the needs of the user through information products, including bulletins, dashboards, reports, and briefs that describe findings and recommend actions. In many countries supported by the U.S. President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI), NMCPs routinely produce malaria bulletins that include data based on key performance indicators and disseminate them to malaria stakeholders.
In Côte d’Ivoire, PMI Measure Malaria (PMM) has institutionalized the development and use of quarterly malaria bulletins that visualize malaria program data performance to make timely, data-informed decisions about malaria service delivery or policy that can improve health outcomes. This bulletin is an important information sharing product that is regularly disseminated to national stakeholders to communicate trends in malaria data, including confirmed cases, malaria test positivity, malaria-related deaths, and data quality.
Côte d’Ivoire’s NMCP initially began producing malaria sentinel surveillance bulletins in 2019 with the support of MEASURE Evaluation Phase IV. In 2021, with the support of PMM and other implementing partners, the NMCP developed their 2021-2025 national surveillance, monitoring, and evaluation plan, which mandates the dissemination of validated malaria program data, to enable stakeholders to stay informed on the status of malaria activities, identify problems, and propose corrective actions. With support from PMM, the NMCP engages different malaria stakeholders in quarterly data reviews to address quality issues, data analysis to monitor trends of performance indicators, and discussions to understand these trends. Additionally, the NMCP works with PMM to develop the bulletin and incorporate feedback to improve its design and content, present key findings to malaria program managers at different levels of the health system, and disseminate the final bulletin electronically and at meetings. Furthermore, the NMCP began posting the malaria sentinel surveillance bulletins to their website to ensure their availability in the public domain.
The Côte d’Ivoire NMCP’s institutionalization of their quarterly malaria sentinel surveillance bulletin demonstrates a streamlined approach to meet their data demand needs to make evidence-based decisions that inform improved malaria data quality as well as service delivery, ultimately helping improve health outcomes. NMCPs in other countries can take a similar approach to provide a sustainable mechanism to ensure accessible and easily interpreted malaria program data dissemination and facilitate its use by stakeholders.
The Côte d’Ivoire malaria sentinel surveillance bulletins can be found here:
This is the third story in a series focusing on the data use cycle to strengthen malaria programs. Read more from the series: