Data Milestones in Senegal
Analyzing program impact
Senegal’s nationally representative household surveys—the Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) and the Malaria Indicator Survey (MIS)—yield data points that provide insight into the overall impact of malaria programs. By assessing the coverage and use of interventions, as well as recording parasitemia in children under five, these surveys enable national programs to adapt and improve malaria reduction interventions. These data also enable the National Malaria Control Program (NMCP) to identify areas where increased or alternative efforts are necessary (e.g., targeting specific population groups in certain geographic areas).
Scaling up rapid reporting
While population-wide health surveys are critical for understanding the coverage and use of interventions—and for assessing changes in parasite prevalence and anemia—there is a need for more precise and timely information. This is especially true in low-transmission areas, where health workers must be able to quickly report remaining cases of a disease and respond with investigation and treatment to prevent any further spread or resurgence.
Rapid reporting of clinical cases—a key component of Senegal’s disease surveillance system—is intended to improve the availability of timely and detailed data for evidence-based decision-making. To date, Senegal has rolled out rapid reporting in approximately 260 facilities in ten districts in low-transmission areas in the north. The NMCP with technical assistance from PATH MACEPA, is planning to expand rapid reporting to all 76 districts by 2020.
Improving data quality
To ensure data are useful to decision-makers, Senegal is taking measures to validate data and improve data quality. Routine data quality audits are conducted at district data review meetings using a peer review approach. The head facility nurses are paired to audit data from another facility, after which the results are reviewed and discussed in a large group session. This approach is resource-efficient and encourages the exchange of experiences by health workers across facilities and between district health teams. The NMCP has developed a set of best practices to ensure data quality management in the country’s health information management platform, DHIS2. Across the country, reporting rates, timeliness, and accuracy have remained consistently high.
Strengthening data culture
Senegal's strong data culture is indicative of the country’s commitment to evaluating and investing in new surveillance and data tools that build capacity at all levels of the health system. For example, the Ministry of Health is currently evaluating data visualization tools developed by partners that would improve data analysis capacity at the national level. In addition to ensuring that the right systems are in place, Senegal is cultivating a community of users at all levels of the health system who understand how to use the tools and how to extract meaningful insight from the data.