On Malaria Diagnosis: “RDT is Working!”
Dr. M. K. Sabo a true son of Adamawa soil hails from Jada LGA and owns a thriving private medical practice known as Sauki Medical Centre, located along Bauchi Street in the heart of Jimeta-Yola. As the Chairman of Private Practitioners in Adamawa state, he has been a major stakeholder of the recorded and continuing success of the Global Fund Malaria project in the state. His facility ranks high on the top list of the project’s top performers. As a devout Muslim, he identifies with efforts to reduce the malaria burden on his people.
At the point of supplying RDTs to his facility, Dr. Sabo demonstrated an obvious dislike for malaria rapid diagnostic testing (RDT) to the surprise of the GFM team. He boycotted the RDT training of health care providers under the GF programme, but did send his staff to attend. His laboratory scientist harboured an even greater aversion for RDTs, and they both believed that the grant was giving RDTs out for free because RDTs do not work. Dr Sabo was however challenged to act scientifically and co-test clients with RDT and microscopy, since Sauki Medical Centre also has a microscope.
During the project’s site support/data collection visit, Dr. Sabo was ecstatic. He exclaimed “Simeon! Do you know that RDT is working! We have even set our microscope aside because all the results correlate!” He proceeded to open all the files on his desk to show the project’s focal person where the RDT results were recorded. He went on to say, “In fact we use the RDT result to inform our treatment. I am going to become an RDT advocate and champion in Adamawa state!”
The Lab scientist shared Dr Sabo’s sentiments as he expressed happiness and relief for his eyes from peering into the microscope. The project team however reminded them that microscopy is still the gold standard in malaria diagnosis.
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