Expert Faults Malaria Diagnosis in Africa

On 12/Nov/2019 / In Articles

The Rector, ANDI Centre of Excellence for Malaria Diagnosis, College of Medicine, University of Lagos, Prof. Wellington Oyibo, has identified poor malaria microscopy capacity for peripheral blood examination as one of the challenges of malaria diagnosis in health facilities.
Oyibo said this during the opening ceremony of a 12-day International Intensive Malaria Certificate Course recently held at the centre in Lagos.
He said, “The primary aim of this certificate course in malaria diagnosis (with Microscopy and Rapid Diagnostic Tests) is to build the capacity of malaria microscopists to strengthen and support national, state and organisational malaria diagnoses with excellence.
“Early diagnosis and prompt, effective treatment remain the basis for the management of malaria. It also helps to reduce malaria mortality and morbidity.
“Demonstrations of the presence of malaria parasites before treatment with anti-malaria drugs are fundamental to this goal, as the clinical diagnosis has poor accuracy and leads to over-diagnosis of malaria with resultant poor management of non-malarial febrile illnesses and wastage of anti-malaria drugs.”
Oyibo described the quality of microscopy-based diagnosis as inadequate in ensuring good health outcomes and optimal use of resources. “An acceptable microscopy service is one that is cost-effective, provides results that are consistently accurate and timely enough to have a direct impact on treatment,” he said.
He said an increased capacity for malaria diagnosis would improve best practices and above all ensure that the cause of fever was explored. “Malaria medicine use is unacceptable, thus dislocating opportunities for organisations to have value-for-money in malaria case management.
“The 2014 to 2015 National Malaria Strategic Plan for Nigeria is envisioned to have a malaria-free country by 2020 where we would have attained the pre-elimination phase with slide positivity rate below five per cent,” Oyibo added.

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