Background: Treatment of confirmed malaria patients with Artemisinin-based Combination Therapy (ACT) at remote areas is the goal of many anti-malaria programs. Introduction of effective and affordable malaria Rapid Diagnosis Test (RDT) in remote areas could be an alternative tool for malaria case management. This study aimed to assess performance of the OptiMAL dipstick for rapid malaria diagnosis in children under five.
Methods: Malaria symptomatic and asymptomatic children were recruited in a passive manner in two community clinics (CCs). Malaria diagnosis by microscopy and RDT were performed. Performance of the tests was determined.
Results: RDT showed similar ability (61.2%) to accurately diagnose malaria as microscopy (61.1%). OptiMAL showed a high level of sensitivity and specificity, compared with microscopy, during both transmission seasons (high & low), with a sensitivity of 92.9% vs. 74.9% and a specificity of 77.2% vs. 87.5%.
Conclusion: By improving the performance of the test through accurate and continuous quality control of the device in the field, OptiMAL could be suitable for use at CCs for the management and control of malaria.