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Background: The use of a malaria early warning system (MEWS) to trigger prompt public health interventions is a key step in adding value to the epidemiological data routinely collected by sentinel surveillance systems. Methods: This study describes a system using various epidemic thresholds and a forecasting component with the support of new technologies to improve the performance of a sentinel MEWS. Malaria-related data from 21 sentinel sites collected by Short Message Service are automatically analysed to detect malaria trends and malaria outbreak alerts with automated feedback reports. Results: Roll Back Malaria partners can, through a user-friendly web-based tool, visualize potential outbreaks and generate a forecasting model. The system already demonstrated its ability to detect malaria outbreaks in Madagascar in 2014. Conclusion: This approach aims to maximize the usefulness of a sentinel surveillance system to predict and detect epidemics in limited-resource environments.
Girond, F., Randrianasolo, L., Randriamampionona, L., Rakotomanana, F., Randrianarivelojosia, M., Ratsitorahina, M., … Piola, P. (2017). Analysing trends and forecasting malaria epidemics in Madagascar using a sentinel surveillance network: a web-based application. Malaria Journal, 16(1), 1–11. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12936-017-1728-9