BACKGROUND: Health workers in sub-Saharan Africa can now diagnose and treat malaria in the field, using rapid diagnostic tests and artemisinin-based combination therapy in areas without microscopy and widespread resistance to previously effective drugs.<br /><br />OBJECTIVE: This study evaluates communities' perceptions of a new community case management of malaria programme in the district of Saraya, south-eastern Senegal, the effectiveness of lay health worker trainings, and the availability of rapid diagnostic tests and artemisinin-based combination therapy in the field.<br /><br />METHODS: The study employed qualitative and quantitative methods including focus groups with villagers, and pre- and post-training questionnaires with lay health workers.<br /><br />RESULTS: Communities approved of the community case management programme, but expressed concern about other general barriers to care, particularly transportation challenges. Most lay health workers acquired important skills, but a sizeable minority did not understand the rapid diagnostic test algorithm and were not able to correctly prescribe arteminisin-based combination therapy soon after the training. Further, few women lay health workers participated in the programme. Finally, the study identified stock-outs of rapid tests and anti-malaria medication products in over half of the programme sites two months after the start of the programme, thought due to a regional shortage.<br /><br />CONCLUSION: This study identified barriers to implementation of the community case management of malaria programme in Saraya that include lay health worker training, low numbers of women participants, and generalized stock-outs. These barriers warrant investigation into possible solutions of relevance to community case management generally.
Blanas, D. A., Ndiaye, Y., Nichols, K., Jensen, A., Siddiqui, A., & Hennig, N. (2013). Barriers to community case management of malaria in Saraya, Senegal: Training, and supply-chains. Malaria Journal, 12(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/1475-2875-12-95