Rapid malaria test fights malaria in Uganda

A new type of rapid diagnostic test for malaria recently issued in Uganda is expected to help public health workers fight the mosquito-borne illness.

The district hospital in Hoima, a town of 40,000 people, recently held a course to help RDT trainers of health facility workers learn how to administer the new exam, according to the Guardian.

The course was sponsored by Comic Relief through the Malaria Consortium.

Jane Banaga, a public health worker in Uganda for 25 years, said she is pleased with the new test because she believes it will be easier for her trainees to administer.

"They use the pipette [to collect blood], which is a bit hard for them," Banaga said, the Guardian reports. "But when I was using this type of a cup [today], it was easier.

"You have to keep things simple."

Despite the many challenges - some of Banaga's RDT students can barley read - Banaga is pleased with her training sessions. She is confident that the villagers she instructed can now use the RDTs successfully and believes that the tests have done a great deal to improve malaria management in the area.

"Before…whoever would come with a fever would be treated, but now with the RDT – you have to know," Banaga said, the Guardian reports.