Welcome to the Communication for Malaria Diagnostic Testing Toolkit, a resource for communication materials designed to promote testing for malaria and adherence to test results. This site includes radio and print materials aimed at parents and the general public. It also contains materials designed to improve providers’ skills in managing fever cases and communicating with patients and caregivers.
These resources were developed under the leadership and endorsement of the Ugandan National Malaria Control Program and were supported by the USAID/PMI-funded AFFORD and Stop Malaria Projects. They were launched under the banners of the "Don't Guess, First Test" and "Power of Day One" campaigns.
All of the tools are available in English and some are also available in local languages. They have been tested and used in Uganda and are available for download and adaptation. Use the navigation menu on the right to view them. If you wish to suggest a resource for the Toolkit, share your experience, or ask us questions, please contact Angela Acosta at firstname.lastname@example.org
Why promote malaria testing and adherence to test results?
Early and accurate diagnosis is essential for effective disease management and surveillance. High-quality malaria diagnosis is important in all settings since misdiagnosis can result in significant morbidity and mortality. WHO recommends prompt malaria diagnosis either by microscopy or rapid diagnostic test (RDT) in all patients with suspected malaria before treatment is administered.
Testing improves the management of all patients with fevers, particularly by helping to identify patients who do not have malaria and need different treatment. It may also help reduce the emergence and spread of drug resistance by reserving antimalarials for those who actually have malaria.
The benefit of diagnostic testing is dependent on health care providers adhering to the test results in managing the patient. This means refraining from prescribing anti-malarials when test results are negative for malaria, and assessing the patient for other causes of fever.
Currently it is unclear whether behavior change communication can influence testing and adherence to test results. Preliminary results from program surveys suggest that communication is strongly associated with an uptake in testing services. Further, qualitative research suggests that provider and caregivers' attitudes play a big role in their willingness to refrain from consuming antimalarials when test results are negative for malaria. Research is underway to examine whether a communication campaign can increase testing rates and adherence to test results. Evaluation results will be available in 2015.