Feasibility of Real-Time Mobile Phone Case Notification by Village Malaria Workers in Rural Myanmar: A Mixed Methods Study

  •  Pyae Linn Aung    
  •  Tepanata Pumpaibool    
  •  Than Naing Soe    
  •  Myat Phone Kyaw    


Malaria burden has markedly decreased in Myanmar and is on course for elimination by 2030. Interrupting of local transmission is essential, and timely notification within 24 hours of disease occurrence by frontline village malaria workers (VMWs) is a crucial initial component of timely follow-up by response teams. Here we studied the feasibility of real-time case notification using mobile phones among VMWs in the remote Banmauk Township, Sagaing Region, Myanmar. A structured quantitative and qualitative questionnaire was used for data collection after implementing the intervention for six months between May and October 2018. Ten VMWs from the National Malaria Control Programme (NMCP) in ten scattered villages from the township were randomly recruited and given one day of on-site training on reporting methods and how to use their own mobile phone. VMWs received 5,000MMK (approximately 3USD) per month remuneration. The baseline demographics of VMWs were not significantly different. Twenty-four out of 25 (96%) malaria patients were notified within 24 hours by the ten VMWs during the study period. All submitted information were said to be complete and correct. VMWs suggested the system as simple and acceptable despite some challenges. In the qualitative study, almost all VMWs were satisfied with the system and willing to use it in the future. This mobile phone reporting system is more efficient and easier to use than other more complicated online mobile applications. However, only a few indicators can be submitted using this approach and the system cannot be used in areas without network coverage.

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