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    Community case management of malaria (CCMm) is an equity-focused strategy that complements and extends the reach of health services by providing timely and effective management of malaria to populations with limited access to facility-based healthcare. In Kenya, CCMm involves the use of malaria rapid diagnostic tests (RDT) and treatment of confirmed uncomplicated malaria cases with artemether lumefantrine (AL) by community health volunteers (CHVs). The test positivity rate (TPR) from CCMm reports collected by the Ministry of Health in 2018 was two-fold compared to facility-based reports for the same period. This necessitated the need to evaluate the performance of CHVs in conducting malaria RDTs. The study was conducted in four counties within the malaria-endemic lake zone in Kenya with a malaria prevalence in 2018 of 27%; the national prevalence of malaria was 8%. Multi-stage cluster sampling and random selection were used. Results from 200 malaria RDTs performed by CHVs were compared with test results obtained by experienced medical laboratory technicians (MLT) performing the same test under the same conditions. Blood slides prepared by the MLTs were examined microscopically as a back-up check of the results. A Kappa score was calculated to assess level of agreement. Sensitivity, specificity, and positive and negative predictive values were calculated to determine diagnostic accuracy. The median age of CHVs was 46 (IQR: 38, 52) with a range (26-73) years. Females were 72% of the CHVs. Test positivity rates were 42% and 41% for MLTs and CHVs respectively. The kappa score was 0.89, indicating an almost perfect agreement in RDT results between CHVs and MLTs. The overall sensitivity and specificity between the CHVs and MLTs were 95.0% (95% CI 87.7, 98.6) and 94.0% (95% CI 88.0, 97.5), respectively. Engaging CHVs to diagnose malaria cases under the CCMm strategy yielded results which compared well with the results of qualified experienced laboratory personnel. CHVs can reliably continue to offer malaria diagnosis using RDTs in the community setting. © 2022. The Author(s).


    Enock Marita, Bernard Langat, Teresa Kinyari, Patrick Igunza, Donald Apat, Josephat Kimori, Jane Carter, Richard Kiplimo, Samuel Muhula. Implementation of community case management of malaria in malaria endemic counties of western Kenya: are community health volunteers up to the task in diagnosing malaria? Malaria journal. 2022 Mar 05;21(1):73

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    PMID: 35248055

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