allAfrica.com: Kenya: Strict Malaria Drug Dispensing Rules OutPosted: April 19, 2012
“We plan to introduce malaria rapid diagnostic test kits to be used in confirmation of malaria even at chemist level,” the PS said.
The rapid diagnostic test kits will take 10 to 15 minutes to detect malaria.
The PS said from the Sh40 billion Kenya secured in round 10 of the Global Fund against AIDS, TB and malaria, the government would procure 7.6 million diagnostic kits at a cost of Sh390 million.
The Head of Disease Prevention and Control Willis Akhwale said the introduction of diagnostic kits will heavily reduce the cost the State is currently incurring on malaria treatment.
He said the government spends Sh1 billion annually in direct cost of drugs for malaria treatment which could be brought down to Sh200 million annually through proper diagnosis.
“One of the challenges we have had as a country is over treatment of malaria. Some people go to the hospital and start by saying I am suffering from malaria and they expect the clinician to start treating them for malaria. In fact by the time you finish assessing the patient, they will ask ‘have you prescribed anti-malarial drugs for me’ and we have our health workers occasionally succumbing to that pressure and giving them anti-malarials,” Akhwale said.