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Year : 2015  |  Volume : 56  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 278-282

Malaria rapid diagnostic test in children: The Zamfara, Nigeria experience

1 Department of Paediatrics, Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital, Zaria, Kaduna State, Nigeria
2 Federal Medical Centre, Gusau, Zamfara State, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Isa Abdulkadir
Department of Paediatrics, Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital, Zaria, Kaduna State
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0300-1652.169744

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Background: Malaria remains a major cause of under-five morbidity and mortality in Nigeria, and prompt diagnosis occupies a strategic position in its management. Malaria rapid diagnostic test (RDT), a nontechnical, easy to perform test promises to meet this need. It is important to locally document the usefulness of the use of RDT in making prompt malaria diagnosis in children. Objective: To determine the prevalence of malaria and evaluate the diagnostic performance of malaria RDT kit in febrile under-five children presenting to a Tertiary Health Facility in Gusau, North-Western Nigeria. Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional study of children aged 6-59 months, evaluated for malaria in a tertiary health facility from August 2012 to January 2013. Information was obtained from care providers of all subjects with fever and a presumptive diagnosis of malaria. All subjects were investigated using Giemsa stain microscopy and Carestart™ malaria RDT. Results: The prevalence of malaria in 250 febrile under-five children was 54%. Three-quarter (79%) of the children received inappropriate nonrecommended antimalaria prior to their presentation, including 20% who received chloroquine. The overall sensitivity of RDT was 40.3%. The specificity, positive and negative predictive values were 89.6%, 81.8%, and 56.5%, respectively. Conclusion: Use of RDT should be encouraged for screening and diagnosis using a protocol such that febrile children with positive RDT results are confirmed as having malaria while those with negative results are further evaluated using microscopy.

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