To collect data for the monitoring and evaluation (M&E) of interventions and for disease surveillance health professionals must report information about the case diagnosis and treatment of VL and vector control activities at multiple levels. Reporting is done at the local static public health clinic or a mobile clinic or at a hospital, (the programmatic and national health system or international level.) This means that clinicians, nurses, community health workers and vector control specialists require training in using reporting tools so that all can fulfil their role in M&E and surveillance.
M&E is not feasible without a good system to record and report the data in. An efficient system enables a programme and incentivises commitment of control efforts. Such systems are referred to health information systems. There are several tools that can be used and training in good use of reporting tools is vital.
There are many examples or “how to” guides to record data according to indicators (WHO, 2010.) It is important to distinguish between first recording data and reporting it. Initial recording may still mean using pen and paper, the process is now greatly enhanced by digital tools that can facilitate the systematic reporting and reliable storage of data into a system.
A tool widely used, in more than 47 countries, is the District Health Information Software 2 (DHIS2). It is a highly flexible, free and open source health management information system and data warehouse. The applications and advantages of this system are many:
Multiple levels of access to the information,
Methods to represent data in meaningful ways,
An ability to automate certain analyses and to direct to areas of improvement (particularly in a health system (Step 4.8) – for example help guide resource allocation.
Several training courses are available. We recommend that you have a look at the relevant resources developed under the National Kala-azar Elimination Programme in Bangladesh, specifically about visceral leishmaniasis - www.kalacorebd.com
What are some other examples of reporting tools?
IVCC with Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine developed a data surveillance system for malaria and adapted it to VL for vector control surveillance and M&E (namely the Disease Data Management System (DDMS).
Another example comes from India and the use of an online reporting system known as KAMIS (Kala-azar management Information System), facilitating the collection of data in relation to VL/kala-azar elimination in India.
© London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine 2018