The primary source of malaria surveillance data in Uganda is the Health Management Information System (HMIS), which does not require laboratory confirmation of reported malaria cases. To improve data quality, an enhanced inpatient malaria surveillance system (EIMSS) was implemented with emphasis on malaria testing of all children admitted in select hospitals. Data were compared between the HMIS and the EIMSS at four hospitals over a period of 12 months. After the implementation of the EIMSS, over 96% of admitted children under 5 years of age underwent laboratory testing for malaria. The HMIS significantly overreported the proportion of children under 5 years of age admitted with malaria (average absolute difference = 19%, range = 8-27% across the four hospitals) compared with the EIMSS. To improve the quality of the HMIS data for malaria surveillance, the National Malaria Control Program should, in addition to increasing malaria testing rates, focus on linking laboratory test results to reported malaria cases.
© The American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.