Study confirms the positive impact of FIND's approach to training in malaria RDT implementation
A key to successful roll-out of malaria RDTs is the ability of health workers, often with limited training and supervision, to safely and correctly use the tests to diagnose malaria in a village setting. The management of malaria and other potentially deadly infections depends on getting the result right.
A joint study by FIND, the Zambia Ministry of Health, University Research Company, the Malaria Consortium, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and WHO in southern Zambia has built on previous work on development of high quality training and instructions to demonstrate that, when good procedures and materials are in place, even village-level health volunteers can be relied on to accurately manage malaria diagnosis. Following the health workers for 12 months after training, with availability of customized job-aids, performance in preparing and interpreting the tests remained at a high level. Such performance is important if malaria RDTs are going to achieve their potential in taking accurate diagnosis to remote areas, making access to good malaria management open to all people at risk.
The work was funded with grants to FIND from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and from the UK Department for International Development. Generic and product-specific versions of the training materials and job-aids can be found at RDT Job Aids and Training Materials.
Counihan H, Harvey SA, Sekeseke-Chinyama M, Hamainza B, Banda R, Malambo T, Masaninga F, Bell D. Community health workers use malaria rapid diagnostic test (RDTs) safely and accurately: Results of a longitudinal study in Zambia, Am. J. Trop. Med. Hyg., 87(1), 2012, 00. 57-63. Download PDF