The African Networks for Drug and Diagnostic Innovation (ANDI), an NGO, has advised patients and Health workers to make use of the Rapid Diagnostics Test kit for malaria (RDTs) for effective diagnosis.
Prof. Wellington Oyibo, a Consultant Medical Parasitologist, University of Lagos, Idi-Araba, gave the advice at a news conference in Lagos on Sunday.
According to him, if we use the RDTs, it will reduce over diagnostics of malaria in the country.
“One important thing is that the health workers do not believe in this test results and that is a challenge for this country because through the global funds, millions of this RDTs are being donated and if they don’t use it, then the country loses out.
“In 2018 reports, malaria increased in Nigeria, not that effort was not put in place to reduce it.
“If both the patients and the health workers do not believe in this test results, then we are in trouble. It means that every report from Nigeria will still be reporting what is not malaria, but they will be reporting fever.
“If fever is say 80 per cent, malaria in some places like urban Lagos will be two per cent, so you can imagine how over reporting will not enable us to plan.
“Also, within the global interpretation of where Nigeria is, it will paint Nigeria globally as having more cases of malaria.
“But if we do this testing, it will give 98 per cent accuracy and it is reliable,’’ Oyobo said.
He also advise patients to instead of visiting a facility or a laboratory to do MP test, they should insist on RDTs test, saying that will not give them wrong test results.
He warned patients to stop assuming that they had malaria when actually what they had are fever, adding that the presumptuous way of treating malaria changed in 2009 when a new policy emerged.
Oyibo said: “There are over 300 causes of fever that may not be malaria, if you now assume that every fever is malaria, then you need to go and test all the causes as well.
“But, those assumptions are no longer valid, ANDI centre is a centre people should approach when they have challenges,” he further said.
He said that without diagnostics, medicine was blind, saying that test is a very important component of cases management and of evidence based practice.
The expert said the danger of poor diagnostics was life threatening conditions apart from the fact that huge amount would be spent.
The parasitologist described RDTs to look like the urine pregnancy test, saying this one is output of science and does not need electricity to work.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that ANDI Centre of excellence for Malaria Diagnosis is an International Centre for Malaria Microscopy and Malaria Rapid Diagnosis tests quality assurance centre.
It provides the platform for Malaria Microscopy quality assurance, Malaria RDT quality assurance through lots of testing with time.
The centre is officially designated as World Health Organisation Malaria Rapid Diagnostic Test verification facility.
It is the only facility in Africa so designated to ensure coming from a very strong problem ends that malaria diagnostics test that are used in the country are validated and are quality assured.
ANDI centre also does research on malaria, malaria case management, diagnostics and treatment, and on diagnostic implementation.
The centre has the capacity to as it is to provide valuable research, development and training in the entire West African Sub-region.
The centre has close working collaboration with the National Malaria Control Programme and other Malaria programme implementers such as the Society for Family Health, DFID/Malaria, Consortium/SunMAP and USAID.