Effectiveness of rapid diagnostic test fo Malaria diagnosis in children under 15 years of age of Nchelenge District in the Luapula Province
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Rapid detection of the malaria parasite and early treatment of infection still remain the most important goals of disease management. This study was conducted to evaluate the diagnostic performance of the Rapid Diagnostic Test (RDT) Paracheck Malaria Pfm a Zambian circumstance and its objective was to compare the Effectiveness of Rapid Diagnostic Test (RDT) to Microscopic examination in detecting malaria parasites.Design: A cross sectional method was used in this study. The researcher collected information from sampled individuals using quantitative and qualitative methods. Three (3) Health centres in Nchelenge District were randomly selected.Thereafter, a systematic sampling procedure picking every 2nd child was used to select children (under 15 years of age), attending the diagnostic centres. Main Outcomes: The figures for specificity, sensitivity, and predictive values were calculated in percentage using microscopy as the gold standard. Results: The findings of this study demonstrated that the RDTs for detection of malaria P. falciparum was highly sensitive (96.1%) but less specific (53.8%) for the diagnosis of malaria plasmodium falciparum, with a positive predictive value (PPV) of 80.2% and a negative predictive value (NPV) of 87.6 %.The sensitivity of the HRP-II RDTs correlated directly with parasite density and it was 100% at parasitemias of above 440/ul; however, the sensitivity dropped from overall 98 to 50% at parasitemias of less than 440/ul. Conclusion: This study demonstrated that 96.1% of RDTs can diagnose malaria P.f. in an individual whether symptomatic or not. The Ministry of Health through the NMCC is intending to bring down the prevalence of malaria substantially by the year 2011; this target can be achieved if RDTs that have 96.1 % sensitivity are used as a major diagnostic tool in Zambia.
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