Misdiagnosing of malaria as RTI decreased after introduction of RDTs in rural areas of Kenya.

  Vol. 38 (Suppl1) 2017 Neuro endocrinology letters Journal Article   2017; 38(Suppl1): 27-29 PubMed PMID:  29200251    Citation

BACKGROUND: Clinical presentation of malaria is highly variable and can be mistaken for number of other diseases, including respiratory tract diseases, which are associated with significant morbidity and mortality. However, presumptive management of fever as malaria can result in significant overdiagnosis, even in high-risk areas. Quality microscopy services for the diagnosis of malaria are not widely available in rural areas of Sub-Saharan Africa as well as in substandard conditions of low-income settings and the accuracy of microscopy is usually poor. MATERIAL AND METHODS: The aim of the study was to determine how introduction of RDTs influenced diagnostics of malaria in high risk area of Eldoret, Kenya. Documentation of every patient was screened for data of current disease and diagnostic tools used. In patients with suspected malaria, either microscopy, or RDT or both were done to confirm the diagnosis. RESULTS: Initially, incidence of malaria was very high, about 50-70% of all visits in OPD due to any infectious condition. In 2010, when rapid diagnostic tests became available in Eldoret, decrease in incidence of malaria from 49% (2010) to 29% (2011) and further to 5.3% (2016) was noted. At the same time, increased incidence of upper and especially lower respiratory tract infections was noted. CONCLUSION: Results suggest that upper and lower respiratory tract infections were formerly diagnosed and treated as malaria. Other contributing factors, such as improvement of infrastructure and malaria preventive and treatment programs also play a role in decreasing malaria incidence in rural areas of Kenya, however, RDTs play a key role in proper diagnostics of malaria.

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