Unlike in other sub-Saharan African countries, malaria in Ethiopia is caused by two parasites; a correct diagnosis is important, as their treatment differs. But with a lack of microscopes, trained laboratory staff, and quality assurance standards, test results were unreliable. Clinicians would often start treatment without a laboratory-confirmed diagnosis.
An ICAP program started six years ago has led to a vast improvement in the number of malaria cases in the country that are clinically confirmed in the laboratory.
Working with the President’s Malaria Initiative and Ethiopia’s Federal Ministry of Health, ICAP has supplied health facilities with new microscopes, reagents, and other essential equipment. ICAP’s training programs have now led to the training of 1,400 lab personnel in malaria microscopy and quality assurance.
In the Oromia region, where ICAP began its program, the percentage of cases treated before lab confirmation has dropped from 99 percent in 2007 to 23 percent in 2013.
Learn more at ICAP.