Malaria is one of the febrile illnesses in Nigeria. In clinical training, it is suggested that patients with fever should be suspected to have malaria and be treated as such. The index of suspicion for malaria was therefore very high. Thus, most patients that present with fever are most likely to be treated for malaria. However, the realities based on
current data shows that the contribution of malaria to febrile illness is indeed low. This prompted the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Federal Ministry of Health to recommend parasite-based confirmation of all suspected malaria cases before prescribing antimalarial medicines.
Early diagnosis and prompt treatment of malaria are critical to reducing malaria mortality and morbidity. Demonstration of the presence of malaria parasites prior to treatment with antimalarial drugs is fundamental to this goal, as clinical diagnosis has poor accuracy and leads to over-diagnosis of malaria with resultant poor management
of non-malarial febrile illness and wastage of antimalarial drugs. While microscopy remains the mainstay of parasite-based diagnosis in most large health clinics and hospitals, the service is not available as an equipped laboratory is required. However, point-of-care-test – rapid diagnostic test (RDT) for malaria are available and the
quality of the results are as good as those done by a good microscopist. This course provides current malaria case management practices, elucidates other non-malaria fevers, exposes participants to hands-on practices with point-of-care tests for malaria and guidance on the utilization of the test results in fever management, etc. One of the
benefits of participation is the effective management of malaria and the reduced spending on the purchase of antimalarial medicines that were hitherto prescribed presumptively.
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