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Background: Presumptive treatment of malaria has led to over diagnosis and over use of antimalarial leading to development of resistance to antimalarial medications. The gold standard for the detection of malaria is microscopic examination. However, the development of RDTs made it possible to get reliable diagnostic testing at all times where previously only clinical diagnosis was available.
Method: A cross sectional study which involved 223 Patients and 321 Community Pharmacists in Lagos state, a south western part of Nigeria. Patients, who presented to the Pharmacy with symptoms such as chills, loss of appetite and other symptoms suggestive of malaria were recruited, and tested using RDT kit, and laboratory microscopic evaluation. An open and closed ended administered Questionnaires was used to assess the awareness and perception of Pharmacists on the use of RDT.
Results: RDT had a sensitivity of 14.29% and a specifificity of 100%. The negative predictive value gotten from the study was 11.33% and a positive predictive value of 100%. The Community Pharmacists indicated high awareness, and were also of the opinion that RDTs were unreliable.
Conclusion: From this study, it was shown that RDT kit is not an effiffifficient diagnostic tool for detecting malaria, as the result obtained showed low sensitivity as compared to microscopy. The study also explains why, community Pharmacists are aware of the use of RDT, but lack the willingness to use it. Hence, microscopy still remains a better and more reliable tool for detecting presence of malaria parasite.
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