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Study highlights the need for quick and accurate malaria testing

A recent study, looking at data from 2007, has suggested that of the 183 million African children under 5 who sought treatment for fever 43% were likely to have malaria. The common assumption is that all childhood fevers are caused by malaria and so the child is given anti-malaria treatment unnecessarily. This depletes stocks of the treatment and may also increase the chances of P.falciparum becoming resistant to current anti-malaria drugs.

This emphasises the need for accurate, rapid diagnostic tests for malaria which are simple, cheap and effective. The study, which breaks down the data geographically, may also help in prioritising where the anti-malarial spend is focused.