Acceptance and perceived value of non-invasive malaria diagnostic tests in malaria-endemic countries

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Background: The diagnosis of malaria, using microscopy or rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs), requires the collection of capillary blood. This procedure is relatively simple to perform but invasive and poses potential risks to patients and health workers, arising from the manipulation of potentially infectious bodily fluids. Less or non-invasive diagnostic tests, based on urine, saliva or requiring no sampling, have the potential to generate less discomfort for the patient and to offer simpler and less risky testing procedures that could be safely performed by untrained staff or even self-performed. To explore the potential acceptance and perceived value of such non-invasive tests, an online, international survey was conducted to gather feedback from National Malaria Control Programme (NMCP) representatives. Methods: An online survey comprising nineteen questions, available in English, French or Spanish, was emailed to 300 individuals who work with NMCPs in malaria-endemic countries. Answers were collected between November and December 2017; responses were qualitatively analysed to identify key themes and trends and quantitatively analysed to determine average values stratified by region. Results: Responses were received from 70 individuals, from 33 countries. Approximately half of the respondents (52 %) considered current blood-based tests for malaria to be minimally invasive and non-problematic in their setting. For these participants, non-invasive tests would only be of interest if they brought additional performance improvements, as compared with the performance of microscopy and RDTs. Most respondents were of the view that saliva-based (80 %) and urine-based (66 %) tests would be more readily acceptable among children than blood-based tests. Potential use-case scenarios of interest for both saliva- and urine-based tests were ease-of-testing by community health workers, additional surveillance, self-testing, and outbreak investigation. Many respondents (41 %) thought that if saliva-based tests retailed at




Owusu, E. D. A., Campillo, A., Daily, J., & Ding, X. C. (2021). Acceptance and perceived value of non-invasive malaria diagnostic tests in malaria-endemic countries. Malaria Journal, 20(1).

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