Purchasing and Using RDTs 

RDT Instructions and Training

Malaria RDT Job-Aids and Training Manuals

The accuracy of malaria RDTs is dependent on the correctness of preparation and interpretation of the tests. It is essential that users of malaria RDTs have training and instructions in a format and language that they readily understand, and the equipment to carry them out. This helps to ensure the accuracy of the diagnosis, and the safety of the health worker and patient.

Generic job aidTraining manualGeneric quiz exampleGeneric guide

The generic instructions job-aids and training manual here have been developed with the aim of improving accuracy of RDT diagnosis and blood safety during the diagnostic procedure. The original manual from which these specific manuals were adapted was first developed by URC and WHO from materials developed by the Quality Assurance Project URC, Zambia National Malaria Control Programme Zambia Ministry of Health and WHO in Zambia. The development procedure of the material followed the technique used previously and described in a corresponding report on this website. Assessment is continuing in Zambia to determine supervision requirements in the field. It is important that an adequate on-going supervisory programme accompany the use of this training material and all field RDT use.

The photographic guides to interpretation of malaria RDT cassettes, and questions with model answers, are provided to accompany the generic instructions job aids are also available under each section of ''Generic Falciparum only Training Meterials'' and ''Generic Combination RDT Training Materials'' above. Experience indicates that realistic examples of negative and positive results, especially of weak positive results, assist health workers in interpreting real tests more effectively than line drawings.


Note on Modifying the Training Manual to Suit Your Country’s Malaria Control Policies

This manual and the accompanying material are designed to train health workers in the safe and accurate use of malaria rapid diagnostic tests RDTs. But correct RDT use is only one part of managing malaria. Health workers also need to know what steps to take after diagnosis, whether the patient is RDT-positive or negative for malaria. National policies for treating malaria differ between countries. Causes of fever also differ. For that reason, this manual addresses only diagnosis, not treatment. Health workers who complete this training on RDT use will also need separate training on your country’s national policy for anti-malarial drug use and for appropriate management of RDT-negative febrile cases.

RDT designs also differ. If your country is using a different RDT, you may need to modify the training and job aid to fit the brand and type of RDT you are using. Particular sections of the training that might need modification include:

Section 1.4.1 on possible false positive results;
Sections 2.6.3, 2.10, 2.11, and 2.13 on where to add blood and buffer;
Section 2.16 and Section 5 on interpreting test results.

The job aid may also need modification to fit the design, preparation and target species of the RDT in use before participants can correctly complete sections 4 and 5 of the training.

WHO can assist with these modifications.
Contact national WHO office or mal-rdt@wpro.who.int

Previous Version of RDT Instructions Job Aids

Accurancy in RDT preparation and interpretation are vital to obtaining a correct diagnosis to guide management. Instructions must be as simple as possible while conveying all vital information necessary to prepare and interpret the test. They should be in a language readily understood by the user, and at a level suited to the literacy ability of the user. Some instructions provided with commercial products do not fill these critieria.

WHO has developed generic instructions for malaria rapid diagnostic tests, in collaboration with Quality Assurance Project URC, USA, the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine, Philippines, and the Centre for Malaria, Parasitology and Entomology CMPE, Lao People's Democratic Republic. These may be down-loaded and modified as necessary. Please read the accompanying notes on their use. The full report of the project to develop and test the instructions is included below. Further information, and assistance with modifying the instructions for other languages or products, may be available from mal-rdt@wpro.who.int.

Relevant links and documents



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