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Danquah D.A.,Kwame Nkrumah University Of Science And Technology | Buabeng K.O.,Kwame Nkrumah University Of Science And Technology | Asante K.P.,Kintampo Health Research Center | Mahama E.,Kintampo Health Research Center | And 2 more authors.
Malaria Journal | Year: 2016

Background: Ghana has scaled-up malaria control strategies over the past decade. Much as malaria morbidity and mortality seem to have declined with these efforts, there appears to be increased consumption of artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT). This study explored the perception and experiences of community members and medicines outlet practitioners on malaria case detection using rapid diagnostic test (RDTs) to guide malaria therapy. Methods: This was a cross-sectional study using both quantitative and qualitative approaches for data. In-depth interviews with structured questionnaires were conducted among 197 practitioners randomly selected from community pharmacies and over-the-counter medicine sellers shops within two metropolis (Kumasi and Obuasi) in the Ashanti Region of Ghana. Two focus group discussions were also held in the two communities among female adult caregivers. Results: Medicine outlet practitioners and community members often used raised body temperature of individuals as an index for malaria case detection. The raised body temperature was presumptively determined by touching the forehead with hands. Seventy percent of the practitioner's perceived malaria RDTs are used in hospitals and clinics but not in retail medicines outlets. Many of the practitioners and community members agreed to the need for using RDT for malaria case detection at medicine outlets. However, about 30 % of the practitioners (n = 59) and some community members (n = 6) held the view that RDT negative results does not mean no malaria illness and would use ACT. Conclusions: Though malaria RDT use in medicines outlets was largely uncommon, both community members and medicine outlet practitioners welcomed its use. Public education is however needed to improve malaria case detection using RDTs at the community level, to inform appropriate use of ACT. © 2016 Danquah et al.

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