This entails operational research into key areas of prevention and treatment and programme contributions to the National M&E framework and plan.
SuNMaP’s strategy sought to:
At the onset of the programme, initial research was conducted to assess community and clients’ knowledge, attitudes, perceptions, myths and practices around malaria control communication issues. At present, SuNMaP maintains its subscription to the Omnibus survey to track trends in relation to malaria communication indicators. The findings of these surveys are being used to guide planning and review of communication interventions.
Monitoring and evaluation involved:
SuNMaP supported capacity development through calls for proposals, mentoring research teams, and development of communications strategy for dissemination.
SuNMaP also involved federal and state ministries of health, as well as Nigerian research institutions to undertake some of the research. It carried out monitoring and evaluation activities for the interventions supported by the project.
Nigeria has a vibrant research community and high levels of expertise compared to other countries in the region. There are several local research groups within institutions in Nigeria involved in extensive malaria research.
However, challenges remain, as there is insufficient connection between researchers and policy makers.
Monitoring and Evaluation
There have been national surveys, which SuNMaP supports. These took place in 2008 and 2010. Post LLIN campaign surveys took place in 2009: Kano and Anambra and in 2010: Niger and Ogun (plus Sokoto as a non-SuNMaP state).
Antenatal clinic surveys were also used following the LLIN mass distribution. Other surveys include LLIN retail market survey. SuNMaP also buys in to the twice-yearly Nigeria Omnibus survey which covers general market and consumer trends.
Selected sites are being, and will continue to be, monitored in order to assess various aspects of malaria epidemiology and transmission exposure. The current sites serve as a pilot. Certain hospitals are being used to monitor the effectiveness of anti-malaria medicines.
Some of the factors that may have hindered the development of a strong linkage between the research community and policy makers include:
Future national surveys could include markers to assess how well the NMEP has worked. Results from the surveys are now being gathered. This evidence may lead to NMEP challenges as it struggles to bring this evidence to inform the current health systems. Therefore, NMEP should collaborate with National Planning Commission to influence the programmatic direction of donors and implementing agencies.
For SuNMaP’s strategy paper on providing evidence for malaria control, see here.