The Performance of Rapid Diagnostic Test for Malaria Parasite Diagnosis Compared to Microscopic Test in Meru South Sub-County, Tharaka-Nithi County, Kenya

Njuki Justin Mugambi, Gicheru M Michael, Jemimah Simbauni


Despite intensive worldwide attempt to control malaria, it remains one of the most fatal and widespread protozoan infection of mankind. About 2.4 billon people inhabit malaria prone regions which is about forty percentage of the world population in over 90 countries of Sub-Saharan Africa are affected. Prompt accurate, diagnosis and treatment is important to avert suffering of patients and malaria infection is a serious global challenge in the affected countries. The rapid diagnosis test of malaria is a recent diagnostic technique whose performance has not been evaluated in Meru South Sub-County. The main purpose of this research study was to perform immunosurveillance and evaluate performance rapid diagnosis test for malaria parasites in Meru South Sub-County, Tharaka-Nithi County. The study design was hospital based cross-sectional study in the laboratory at Chuka Level Five Hospital. Three hundred and eighty four blood specimens were used from febrile patients with clinical manifestation of malaria infection. The blood specimens were used for thin, thick smear and rapid diagnosis test. The results were analyzed by t-test to compare the mean of the two methods. A P –value of 0.953 was obtained which is greater than 0.05, therefore we accept the null hypothesis that there is no difference in performance between the Rapid Diagnostic Test (RDT) and microscopic test. The results indicated that RDT had similar performance with microscopy for both positive and negative cases of malaria infection. In conclusion RDT is appropriate for malaria diagnosis since the incidence rate of malaria was found to be high and the predominant Plasmodium falciparum was high in the study area.  The researcher recommends the use of RDTs in mass screening for malaria infection, adopt or intensify protective measures during dry seasons and monitoring antimalaria drug resistance or tolerance in all counties in Kenya.

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ISSN (Paper)2224-3208 ISSN (Online)2225-093X

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