Should countries implementing an artemisinin-based combination malaria treatment policy also introduce rapid diagnostic tests?

 

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dc.contributor.author Zikusooka, Charlotte en_ZA
dc.contributor.author McIntyre, Diane en_ZA
dc.contributor.author Barnes, Karen en_ZA
dc.date.accessioned 2015-10-28T07:09:17Z
dc.date.available 2015-10-28T07:09:17Z
dc.date.issued 2008 en_ZA
dc.identifier.citation Zikusooka, C. M., McIntyre, D., & Barnes, K. I. (2008). Should countries implementing an artemisinin-based combination malaria treatment policy also introduce rapid diagnostic tests. Malar J, 7, 176. en_ZA
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/11427/14484
dc.identifier.uri http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1475-2875-7-176
dc.description.abstract BACKGROUND: Within the context of increasing antimalarial costs and or decreasing malaria transmission, the importance of limiting antimalarial treatment to only those confirmed as having malaria parasites becomes paramount. This motivates for this assessment of the cost-effectiveness of routine use of rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) as an integral part of deploying artemisinin-based combination therapies (ACTs). METHODS: The costs and cost-effectiveness of using RDTs to limit the use of ACTs to those who actually have Plasmodium falciparum parasitaemia in two districts in southern Mozambique were assessed. To evaluate the potential impact of introducing definitive diagnosis using RDTs (costing $0.95), five scenarios were considered, assuming that the use of definitive diagnosis would find that between 25% and 75% of the clinically diagnosed malaria patients are confirmed to be parasitaemic. The base analysis compared two ACTs, artesunate plus sulfadoxine/pyrimethamine (AS+SP) costing $1.77 per adult treatment and artemether-lumefantrine (AL) costing $2.40 per adult treatment, as well as the option of restricting RDT use to only those older than six years. Sensitivity analyses considered lower cost ACTs and RDTs and different population age distributions. RESULTS: Compared to treating patients on the basis of clinical diagnosis, the use of RDTs in all clinically diagnosed malaria cases results in cost savings only when 29% and 52% or less of all suspected malaria cases test positive for malaria and are treated with AS+SP and AL, respectively. These cut-off points increase to 41.5% (for AS+SP) and to 74% (for AL) when the use of RDTs is restricted to only those older than six years of age. When 25% of clinically diagnosed patients are RDT positive and treated using AL, there are cost savings per malaria positive patient treated of up to $2.12. When more than 29% of clinically diagnosed cases are malaria test positive, the incremental cost per malaria positive patient treated is less than US$ 1. When relatively less expensive ACTs are introduced (e.g. current WHO preferential price for AL of $1.44 per adult treatment), the RDT price to the healthcare provider should be $0.65 or lower for RDTs to be cost saving in populations with between 30 and 52% of clinically diagnosed malaria cases being malaria test positive. CONCLUSION: While the use of RDTs in all suspected cases has been shown to be cost-saving when parasite prevalence among clinically diagnosed malaria cases is low to moderate, findings show that targeting RDTs at the group older than six years and treating children less than six years on the basis of clinical diagnosis is even more cost-saving. In semi-immune populations, young children carry the highest risk of severe malaria and many healthcare providers would find it harder to deny antimalarials to those who test negative in this age group. en_ZA
dc.language.iso eng en_ZA
dc.publisher BioMed Central Ltd en_ZA
dc.rights This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License en_ZA
dc.rights.uri http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0 en_ZA
dc.source Malaria Journal en_ZA
dc.source.uri http://www.malariajournal.com/ en_ZA
dc.subject.other Malaria en_ZA
dc.title Should countries implementing an artemisinin-based combination malaria treatment policy also introduce rapid diagnostic tests? en_ZA
dc.type Journal Article en_ZA
dc.rights.holder 2008 Zikusooka et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. en_ZA
uct.type.publication Research en_ZA
uct.type.resource Article en_ZA
dc.publisher.institution University of Cape Town
dc.publisher.faculty Faculty of Health Sciences en_ZA
dc.publisher.department Department of Public Health and Family Medicine en_ZA
uct.type.filetype Text
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This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License