Point-of-care diagnostics: needs of African health care workers and their role combating global antimicrobial resistance

Rosalind Parkes-Ratanshi, Ruth Kikonyogo, Yu-Hsiang Hsieh, Edith Nakku-Joloba, Yukari C Manabe, Charlotte A Gaydos, Anne Marie Rompalo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Point-of-care tests (POCTs) offer the opportunity for increased diagnostic capacity in resource-limited settings, where there is lack of electricity, technical capacity, reagents, and infrastructure. Understanding how POCTs are currently used and determining what health care workers (HCWs) need is key to development of appropriate tests. In 2016, we undertook an email survey of 7584 HCWs who had received training at the Infectious Diseases Institute, Uganda, in a wide variety of courses. HCWs were contacted up to three times and asked to complete the survey using Qualtrics software. Of 555 participants answering the survey (7.3% response rate), 62% completed. Ninety-one percent were from Uganda and 50.3% were male. The most commonly-used POCTs were pregnancy tests (74%), urine dipstick (71%), syphilis rapid test (66%), and Gram stain (41%). The majority (74%) practiced syndromic diagnosis for sexually transmitted infections/HIV. Lack of availability of POCTs, increased patient wait time, and lack of training were the leading barriers for POCT use. Increasing POCT availability and training could improve uptake of POCTs for sexually transmitted infections in Africa and decrease syndromic management. This could reduce overtreatment and slow the emergence of antibiotic resistance. This is the first published email survey of HCWs in Uganda; mechanisms to increase the response rate should be evaluated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalInternational Journal of STD and AIDS
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2019

Keywords

  • Africa
  • Point-of-care tests
  • sexually transmitted infections

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Pharmacology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases

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