Background

At the 2013 APMEN Annual Meeting (APMEN V), Country Partners and Partner Institutions identified surveillance and response as a key area of focus for the network. In response to the identified gaps and country priorities, the Network agreed to formally establish the Surveillance and Response Working Group (SRWG) during the 2014 APMEN Annual Meeting (APMEN VI). The SRWG was developed to be a peer-led, technical working group for APMEN Country Partners and Partner Institutions to expand the knowledge base, guide the region-specific operational research agenda, and address the evidence gaps.

Since its first workshop in Wuxi, China in 2013, the SRWG has convened annually to discuss themes prioritized by the working group. Topics covered at past meetings include mobile and migrant populations, surveillance system strengthening, and surveillance and response indicators and activities for elimination and prevention of reintroduction (POR). In October 2014, the SRWG held a comprehensive, hands-on training for National Malaria Control Program Managers and Surveillance Officers from APMEN in addition to some participants from South Asia, and sub-Saharan Africa. The 10-day program, which was co-hosted and funded by the Chinese Government and the Jiangsu Institute of Parasitic Diseases (JIPD), covered data analysis, stratification methods, Spatial Decision Support Systems (SDSS) and Geographic Information System (GIS) software training, among other pertinent topics.

As a result of the outputs from the SRWG, malaria programs in the region contributed heavily to the development of minimum essential indicators for surveillance and response, which have been shared with and used by important stakeholders such as the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, WHO, and other donors and implementation partners at the global and regional level. Benefiting from linkages with the SRWG, Country Partner malaria programs have contributed to operational research projects on surveillance and response, some receiving grants from the APMEN Research Grant program. Others have co-authored publications with other SRWG members. There have also been several APMEN Fellowships that focused on building capacity in surveillance and response; fellows are encouraged to share the skills and tools that they learned upon returning to their home program.

The SRWG is supported by a coordinating team from the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) Global Health Group (USA) and the JIPD (China). Professor Roly Gosling (UCSF Global Health Group) and Professor Gao Qi (JIPD) serve as the Working Group Co-chairs. The SRWG consists of representatives from APMEN Country Partners, Partner Institutions, WHO, and the APMEN Secretariat. Core funding support for the SRWG is provided by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) through a grant to the UCSF Global Health Group, with in-kind contributions from JIPD.

Objectives

Surveillance and response activities vary across the Asia Pacific and there is limited evidence on the most effective methods to identify and respond to malaria cases in elimination settings. For countries to make better informed decisions on how to effectively implement surveillance strategies, further evidence and guidance on the operational aspects of malaria surveillance is needed.

The APMEN Surveillance and Response Working Group (SRWG) was established in 2014 in response to countries identifying this as a priority area of crucial knowledge gaps. The APMEN SRWG aims to further develop and coordinate surveillance and response activities that support malaria elimination in APMEN countries and accelerate progress towards the Asia Pacific regional elimination goal of 2030.

Annual Meetings

Resources