Professors Peter Case and Jonathan Gosling recently had a co-authored article, ‘Effective management of district-level malaria control and elimination: Implementing quality and participative process improvements’, published in BMC Public Health. The article reviews organisation development and quality improvement work that Peter and Jonathan have been conducting in the malaria space for the past nine years and concludes with some policy recommendations for improved programme management.
Although it is widely recognised that strong programme management is essential to achieving better health outcomes, this priority is not recognised in malaria programmatic practices.
Increased management precision offers the opportunity to improve the effectiveness of malaria interventions, overcoming operational barriers to intervention coverage and accelerating the path to elimination.
Peter and Jonathan propose a combined approach involving quality improvement, quality management, and participative process improvement, which they refer to as Combined Quality and Process Improvement (CQPI), to improve upon malaria programme management. They draw on evidence from other areas of public health, as well as pilot implementation studies in Eswatini, Namibia and Zimbabwe to support the proposal. Summaries of the methodological approaches employed in the pilot studies, overview of activities and an outline of lessons learned from the implementation of CQPI are provided.
Their findings suggest that a malaria management strategy that prioritises quality and participative process improvements at the district-level can strengthen teamwork and communication while enabling the empowerment of subnational staff to solve service delivery challenges. Despite the promise of CQPI, however, policy makers and donors are not aware of its potential. Investments are therefore needed to allow CQPI to come to fruition.
Read the full paper.