INVESTIGATIONS FOR MALARIA

  • RDT or thick blood slide for diagnosis of malaria
  • Random blood sugar and Hb level if clinically indicated
  • Lumbar puncture: in case of convulsion/coma and negative malaria tests
  • Thin film for parasite identification

Note on RDTs

  • RDTs (Rapid Diagnostic tests) detect malaria antigen (not whole parasites like the blood slide) and remain positive for 2 weeks after effective treatment
  • RDT do not become negative if the patient has already taken antimalarials
  • RDTs are reliable, quick and easily accessible tools for malaria diagnosis.

A blood slide for microscopy is specifically recommended over RDT in the following situations:

  • Patients who have taken antimalarial treatment for 2 days and symptoms persist
  • Patients who completed treatment but come back within 2 weeks
  • RDT negative patients without any other evident cause of fever (current RDTs detect only P.falciparum)
Note: All suspected malaria patients MUST be tested by
blood slide or RDT before they are treated. NOT all fevers
are malaria.