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Malaria Research and Treatment
Volume 2016, Article ID 7436265, 13 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2016/7436265
Review Article

Improving Access to Malaria Rapid Diagnostic Test in Niger State, Nigeria: An Assessment of Implementation up to 2013

1OREEP NIG Ltd., State House, Block I, No. 6, Karu Site, Karu, AMAC, Abuja 900110, Nigeria
2Department of Mathematics, Texas A&M University-Central Texas, 1001 Leadership Place, Killeen, TX 76549, USA

Received 3 September 2015; Accepted 8 February 2016

Academic Editor: Neena Valecha

Copyright © 2016 Olatunji Joshua Awoleye and Chris Thron. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Nigeria’s 2009–2013 malaria strategic plan adopted WHO diagnosis and treatment guidelines, which include the use of rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) prior to prescribing treatment with artemisinin combination therapies (ACTs). The current study explores accessibility barriers to the use of RDTs in Niger State and makes recommendations for improving the uptake of RDTs. The study employs literature review, review of data from the Niger State Health Management Information System for January–October 2013, and application of Peters’ conceptual framework for assessing access to health services. Data showed that 27 percent of public health facilities (HFs) implemented RDTs, with the aid of donor funds. In these facilities, 77 percent of fever cases presented during the study period were tested with RDTs; 53 percent of fever cases were confirmed cases of malaria, while 60 percent of fever cases were treated. Stockouts of RDTs were a major constraint, and severe fever tended to trigger presumptive treatment. We conclude that although implementation of RDTs led to a reduction in the use of ACTs at HFs, more substantial reduction could be achieved if the state government directed more resources towards the acquisition of RDTs as well as raising the level of awareness of potential users.