15 Nov The Pneumonia Diagnostics Project
Article posted on November 15, 2016.
Malaria Consortium evaluates new devices for accuracy and use in remote, resource-poor settings
- Malaria Consortium project identified the most accurate, acceptable, scalable, and user-friendly respiratory rate timers and pulse oximeters
- The Learning Paper details the challenges and successes encountered in implementing the project
- Watch the Malaria Consortium’s project and protocol videos to learn more
A large number of children die from pneumonia as a result of inappropriate treatment due to misdiagnosis of symptoms. In an effort to improve diagnostics, the Malaria Consortium conducted, “The Pneumonia Diagnostics Project: Evaluating Devices for Accuracy.”
The pneumonia diagnostics project identified the most accurate, acceptable, scalable, and user-friendly respiratory rate timers and pulse oximeters for diagnosis of pneumonia symptoms in children by community health workers and first-level health facility workers in four low-income countries.
This project, funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, assessed the accuracy of nine diagnostic devices that are prevalent in Cambodia, Uganda, South Sudan, and Ethiopia. Pneumonia is one of the leading causes of infectious death in children under five in both Southeast Asia and sub-Saharan Africa.
The Malaria Consortium’s Learning Paper details the challenges and successes encountered in implementing the project, and provides recommendations to parties interested in conducting similar studies. This Learning Paper accompanies the 13-minute protocol film, “Implementing a trial to evaluate pneumonia diagnostic devices,” a ‘how-to’ guide to designing and implementing a study on diagnostic aids.
A 60-second video summarizes key takeaways from the study, which include:
- The importance of selecting the correct reference, which is the agreed best test currently available for detecting a disease.
- Standardization should be employed across all of the research sites to ensure that everything, from training to protocol development and data collection, is compatible with the other sites.
- All aspects of the approach should include engagement with key stakeholders. Stakeholders should be conferred with in ethics approval, data collection, and dissemination.
During the 65th Annual Symposium of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, the Malaria Consortium hosted a Pneumonia Symposium, where their Africa Technical Director Dr. Ebenezer Sheshi Baba presented on, “Progress towards universal access to pneumonia treatment.” This presentation analysed how early identification and treatment of pneumonia saves lives as well as how severe and mild cases of pneumonia can be better managed.
Established in 2003, Malaria Consortium is one of the world’s leading non-profit organizations specializing in the prevention, control, and treatment of malaria and other communicable diseases among vulnerable populations. This non-profit works with partners and governments to improves lives in Africa and Asia through sustainable, evidence-based programs that combat targeted diseases and promote child and maternal health.
Photo Credit: Malaria Consortium, Tine Frank