Dr. Dorothy Hanson, a Medical Officer at the International Maritime Hospital (IMaH), has encouraged the public to seek a laboratory test for malaria should they continue to experience symptoms after having used a Rapid Diagnostic Test (RDT).
She explained that while the RPD could aid in the diagnosis of malaria, it was not always successful due to how it was administered.
Dr. Hanson gave the advice at the weekly, “Your Health! Our Collective Responsibility,” a Ghana News Agency Tema Regional Office initiative aimed at promoting health-related communication and providing a platform for the dissemination of health information to influence personal health choices through improved health literacy.
Speaking on malaria, Dr. Hanson noted that microscopy laboratory testing has remained the ‘gold standard’ for malaria testing due to its dependability and accuracy since it can locate and count the number of parasites in the patient for accurate therapy.
She explained that if the directions for the latter were not followed properly, some RDT could produce a negative test result even if the patient had the parasite.
Dr. Hanson said that each brand of RDT had unique instructions, such as the number of drops of blood to use and the number of minutes to wait before viewing the result, that if not followed, it would result in an incorrect diagnosis.
She consequently advocated for sufficient training for pharmacy attendants for them to properly conduct the test and obtain accurate findings, which might subsequently inform the treatment to be administered.
She recommended the public to avoid mosquito bites by, among other things, keeping their surroundings clean to limit mosquito breeding sites, sleeping under treated mosquito nets, applying insecticides, and using repellents.
She asked the public to always test before taking any malaria medications, citing the possibility that malaria symptoms might be similar to those of other disorders.