A Professor and Consultant Medical Parasitologist, Wellington Oyibo, has stressed the need to conduct proper diagnostic tests before any malaria drug can be administered on anyone to avoid mistaking any other condition for malaria.
Oyibo, who is the Head of the African Network for Drug Diagnostic Innovation (ANDi) Centre of Excellence for Malaria Diagnosis at the College of Medicine, University of Lagos, disclosed that apart from malaria, there are over 300 causes of fever, but because malaria is over diagnosed, people assume they have malaria anytime they are down with a fever and go ahead to treat without any test.
He regretted that many people, including health practitioners don’t trust the Malaria Rapid Diagnostic Tests (MRDTs), they only believe in the long lab test and the capacity to do the lab test is low because of the processes and equipment involved. As a result, the country loses out because millions of the RDTs that are being donated through the global fund are not used.
According to Oyibo, the ANDi Centre is a World Health Organization (WHO) Malaria Rapid Diagnostic Tests Verification Facility, the only facility in Africa so designated; therefore, the MRDTs are good and have been quality assured, He said the test is 98 per cent accurate and reliable so people should use it, as it is also fast and helps for quick treatment of malaria if detected.
He described the malaria rapid diagnostic test as an outcome of science and it can be used anywhere in the country and it does not need electricity and its look like the urine pregnancy test.