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Health ministry, partners set for MIS

Health ministry, partners set for MIS

The National Malaria Control Programme (NMCP) under the Directorate of Disease Prevention and Control (DPC), Ministry of Health and Sanitation have  disclosed to pressmen at their Secretariat, Sierra Leone Medical Stores, New England Vill, Freetown that they are set to kick start the country Malaria Indicator Survey (MIS) Monday  June 27th –7 August, 2016 with funds from Global Fund to the tune of 1.3 Million Dollars.

The Programme Manager, Dr. Samuel J Smith introduced members of the technical committee which he said includes the principal investigator, Professor Foday Sarh, Ebrima Jarjou, programme Director, Global Fund Malaria project Sierra Leone, country programme, Francis Tommy statistic Sierra Leone, University of Sierra Leone –College of Medicine and Allied Health Sciences, Catholic Relief services, World health Organisation and Unicef.

He continued that the MIS is usually conducted after every 2 years but due to the outbreak of the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) prevented them from conducting the 2015 survey.

Dr. Smith said malaria remains one of the biggest public health problems in Sierra Leone pointing out that over the years the nation has made progress in defining the effort required to control the impact of malaria among its citizens including the development of the Sierra Leone National Malaria control programme Strategy plan 2016-2020 and revision of guidelines in December 2015 to ensure that programme implementation is evidence based.

The Programme Manager asserted that the survey designed to measure the coverage of the core malaria control interventions defined in the 2011-2015 National Malaria Strategic Plan to help the Country assess current implementation strategies as the 2016 survey is district specific and designed to measure the performance of each district and region as it focus on specific issues and trends that are peculiar to the country situation.

He continued that the survey  is designed in conformity with international standards aiming to achieve key objectives like measuring the level of ownership and use of mosquito nets, access coverage of the intermittent preventive treatment for pregnant Women, identify treatment practices including the use of specific anti-malaria medications to treat malaria among children under 5, identify diagnostic trends prior to receiving anti-malaria medications for treatment of fever and other malaria –like symptoms, measure the prevalence of malaria among Women age 15-49 years, allow tracking of trend over time.

Given the overview, professor Foday Sarh said the 2016 MIS will cover household populations in Sierra Leone adding that the design use is a representative sample to produce estimates for national, urban and rural areas, regional and districts.

 He said the data  shall be disaggregated by district owing to the fact that the health system is managed by district.

The Principal investigator continued that the target population are households, household heads and individual living in those households at risk of malaria specifically Women of reproductive age (15-49 years) and children under 5 years.

He continued that the survey will target 6,720 households at national level as the exercise will collect data from 336 clusters total with 20 households per selected cluster.

The Medical Professor added that the survey consist household, Women and Biomarker questionnaires that has been adopted to reflect the population and health issues relevant to Sierra Leone.

Professor Foday Sarh mentioned that there are 196 numerators of which 14 are coordinators, 28 supervisors, 14 nurses, 28 interviewers, 28 Bio markers, 10 laboratory Staff with 6 on a stand-by.

The Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Brima Kargbo said during the survey, children age 6-59 months will be tested for anemia and malaria and those who are tested positive for malaria will be offered free treatment.

He note that information obtained from the survey will give the Government and the Ministry and its development partners a better chance of its Global fund malaria grant continued support and approval in the future.

Dr. Brima Kargbo continued that regardless of the fact that malaria is preventable and curable, it remains a major public health problem in Sierra Leone taking its greatest toll on young children and pregnant Women as information collected as part of the 2016 MIS is important for planning, designing and fine-tuning malaria prevention and treatment intervention for better impact.

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