This study evaluated the effect of rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) for malaria on antimalarial drug (AMD) prescriptions by health workers to outpatients at 21 low level health care facilities (LLHCF) in different malaria epidemiological settings in Uganda. Introduction of RDTs (and training in their use) resulted in a two-fold reduction in AMD prescriptions, i.e. less over-treatment, although there were differences between settings, and some RDT-negative patients (in particular young children) were given AMDs on the grounds that a negative result did not necessarily rule out malaria. It is concluded that nationwide deployment of RDTs in a systematic manner should be prioritised in order to improve fever case management.
Asiimwe, C.; Counihan, H.; Kyabayinze, D.J.; Nabakooza, J.; Nakanjako, D.; Tibenderana, J.K. Use of RDTs to improve malaria diagnosis and fever case management at primary health care facilities in Uganda. Presented at Parasite to Prevention: Advances in the understanding of malaria, Edinburgh, UK. 20-22 October 2010. BioMed Central, (2010) [DOI: 10.1186/1475-2875-9-S2-P18]