12.7.1 Assess adequacy of epidemic detection and response
Some of the questions you should ask during post-epidemic assessment are:
- Did you use an epidemic monitoring chart?
- How effective was it in detecting the epidemic early?
- How adequate were your contingency stocks?
- How speedy were your actions for vector control?
- How successful were your case management activities?
Careful post-epidemic assessment will show the strengths and weaknesses of the system in place at your Health Post level and of your actions in tackling the epidemic. The investigation should focus on how efficient the system was in confirming the epidemic, the status of preparedness (drugs, insecticides, logistics, etc), the timing and impact of intervention measures, and the participation of the community and other partners. Identify both the strengths and weaknesses of the response to the malaria epidemic so you can build on the strengths and take appropriate actions to correct weaknesses. Your report or assessment will help you and your supervisors to improve the epidemic response system.
The following indicators will help you to monitor the success of your interventions.
- Availability and quality of active epidemic monitoring
- Stockpile of anti-malaria commodities, mainly RDTs, Coartem and other anti-malarial drugs and insecticides
- Community participation.
- Number of houses sprayed
- Number of larval control measures
- Number of trained village volunteers for emergency interventions such as spraying.
- Volunteers trained and people educated
- High coverage of vector control measures (LLINs and IRS).
- Time taken by cases to seek treatment
- Adherence to treatment
- Percentage of patients developing severe disease who were referred
- Flattening or sharp falling of the epidemic curve.