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QAP’s Dr. Harvey Presents at 56th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene

Dr. Steven Harvey, QAP Senior Research Advisor, presented a case study on the application of Rapid Diagnostic Tools (RDTs) for malaria in Zambia at the 56th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene held November 4-8, 2007 in Philadelphia.

The poster presentation was entitled Malaria RDTs: Can Community Health Workers Use Them Safely and Effectively? A Case Study from Zambia. In many sub-Saharan African countries, limiting RDT use to health facilities would exclude a significant proportion of febrile cases due to scarcity of health facilities and trained personnel. RDT use by volunteer community health workers (CHWs) is an alternative, but little is known about the ability of CHWs to use RDTs safely and effectively. The goal of QAP’s Zambia-based study was to determine if:

  1. Workers could prepare and interpret Malaria RDTs safely and correctly using only manufacturer’s instructions
  2. Whether mostly pictorial instructions (a ‘job aid’) could raise performance to adequate levels; and
  3. If a ½-day training would significantly improve performance.  

The study found that manufacturer’s instructions alone do not ensure safe and accurate RDT use by CHWs. However, a well-designed job aid and brief training can significantly improve performance. More research is needed to confirm this result and determine how well improved performance holds up over time.

Download

Malaria RDTs: Can Community Health Workers Use Them Safely and Effectively? A Case Study from Zambia
(Note: Original Size of the poster is 48" x 48" and any print-out on standard sized paper will be somewhat small.  Poster is better viewed at 25% and printed out on 11 x 17 paper.)

For more information, contact Dr. Steven Harvey at [email protected]

The technical support QAP provided for quality improvement in a range of healthcare services continues under the new USAID Health Care Improvement (HCI) Project, the follow-on to QAP.

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The Quality Assurance Project (QAP) is funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development
(USAID) under Contract Number GPH-C-00-02-00004-00.