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Year : 2015  |  Volume : 56  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 85-90

Uncomplicated malaria in children: The place of rapid diagnostic test

1 Department of Paediatrics, University of Maiduguri, Maiduguri, Nigeria
2 Department of Paediatrics, Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University Teaching Hospital, Bauchi, Nigeria
3 Deparetment of Medical Microbiology, University of Maiduguri, Maiduguri, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Hassan Abdullahi Elechi
Department of Paediatrics, College of Medical Sciences, University of Maiduguri, P.M.B. 1069, Maiduguri
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0300-1652.150686

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Background : Malaria has remained a major cause of morbidity and mortality among the under-five children in Nigeria. Prompt and accurate diagnosis of malaria is necessary in controlling this high burden and preventing unnecessary use of anti-malarial drugs. Malaria rapid diagnostic test (MRDT) offers the hope of achieving this goal. However, the performance of these kits among the most vulnerable age group to malaria is inadequate . Materials and Methods : In this cross-sectional study, 433 out-patients, aged <5 years with fever or history of fever were enrolled. Each candidate was tested for malaria parasitaemia using ACON; malaria pf. Thick and thin films were also prepared from the same finger prick blood for each candidate . Result: Malaria rapid diagnostic test had sensitivity of 8.3%, specificity of 100%, positive predictive value (PPV) of 100% and negative predictive value (NPV) of 74%. The sensitivity of MRDT increased with increasing age. This effect of age on sensitivity was statistically significant (P = 0.007). Similarly parasite density had significant effect on the sensitivity of MRDT (P = <0.001). Conclusion : Histidine-rich protein-2 based MRDT is not a reliable mean of diagnosing malaria in the under-five age children with acute uncomplicated malaria.

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