Evaluation of Malaria Rapid Diagnostic Test (RDT) Use by Community Health Workers: A Cross-Sectional Study in western Kenya
May 15, 2016 - August 15, 2016
In spite of many global efforts, malaria remains a major public health concern resulting in large amounts of morbidity and mortality, with a majority occurring in sub-Saharan Africa. The World Health Organization (WHO) has changed its recommendations to include the parasitological confirmation for the diagnosis of malaria, and for the administration of anti-malarial medications. Though microscopy remains the gold standard for parasitological diagnosis, malaria rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) represent a reliable and practical means for diagnosis where microscopy is unavailable or unfeasible. Despite their recognized benefits and relative simplicity, the accuracy of RDTs is highly user-dependent and concerns remain pertaining to the use of RDTs by community health workers (CHWs) due to gaps in knowledge regarding the monitoring of the quality of testing. As such, a compelling need exists to determine if CHWs maintain their competency at conducting RDTs over time. The overarching goals of this study will be to (i) evaluate the ability of CHWs to safely and correctly administer RDTs, and (ii) determine if CHWs maintain a high level of competence in performing RDTs over a period of time.