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Malaria in the private retail sector: Can use of rapid diagnostic tests in drug shops improve treatment of patients? (Policy brief)

Category: Intervention Manuals

Sub Category: Method Guidance

Published Date: 04 September 2015


Up to 80% of malaria cases in Uganda are treated in the private retail sector.

In this study, researchers introduced malaria rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) in registered drug shops to improve the targeting of Artemisinin-based Combination Treatment (ACTs), the recommended treatment for malaria. 

Results showed that the tests were popular and vendors usually treated patients according to the test results, targeting ACTs to those with malaria, and reducing the over prescription of these medicines by over 70%. 

However, the tests are not a simple fix in the private retail sector and could give patients a false reassurance about vendors’ other skills and services.


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