A wide range of malaria RDTs have performed with high accuracy in laboratory and field-based studies, but several published studies indicate that sensitivity is significantly reduced under certain conditions. In particular, RDTs may be denatured by exposure to high temperature and humidity during transport and storage.
A system for checking the continued accuracy of malaria RDTs is essential. Good quality assurance (QA) includes careful purchasing, handling and training, in addition to testing of the product and user. QA should be an integral part of RDT budgets and implementation plans in the same way that it forms an important part of microscopy-based diagnosis. Monitoring should extend from testing at the time of purchase to testing and supervision at a peripheral level, and include monitoring of transport and storage. Responsibility for overseeing QA processes should be clearly defined and coordinated from a central level.
More details on the use of RDTs are provided in Annex III.
For further information, please refer to:
2003 Meeting Report. Malaria Rapid Diagnosis: Making it Work (WHO 2003).
Use of Malaria RDTs. www.wpro.who.int/rdt