Lessons for improved COVID-19 surveillance from the scale-up of malaria testing strategies

Kerr, Genevieve, Robinson, Leanne J., Russell, Tanya L., and Macdonald, Joanne (2022) Lessons for improved COVID-19 surveillance from the scale-up of malaria testing strategies. Malaria Journal, 21. 223.

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Effective control of infectious diseases is facilitated by informed decisions that require accurate and timely diagnosis of disease. For malaria, improved access to malaria diagnostics has revolutionized malaria control and elimination programmes. However, for COVID-19, diagnosis currently remains largely centralized and puts many low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) at a disadvantage. Malaria and COVID-19 are infectious diseases that share overlapping symptoms. While the strategic responses to disease control for malaria and COVID-19 are dependent on the disease ecologies of each disease, the fundamental need for accurate and timely testing remains paramount to inform accurate responses. This review highlights how the roll-out of rapid diagnostic tests has been fundamental in the fight against malaria, primarily within the Asia Pacific and along the Greater Mekong Subregion. By learning from the successful elements of malaria control programmes, it is clear that improving access to point-of-care testing strategies for COVID-19 will provide a suitable framework for COVID-19 diagnosis in not only the Asia Pacific, but all malarious countries. In malaria-endemic countries, an integrated approach to point-of-care testing for COVID-19 and malaria would provide bi-directional benefits for COVID-19 and malaria control, particularly due to their paralleled likeness of symptoms, infection control strategies and at-risk individuals. This is especially important, as previous disease pandemics have disrupted malaria control infrastructure, resulting in malaria re-emergence and halting elimination progress. Understanding and combining strategies may help to both limit disruptions to malaria control and support COVID-19 control.

Item ID: 75539
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1475-2875
Keywords: Malaria, COVID-19, Plasmodium, Rapid diagnostic test, RDT, Asia Pacific, LMIC, GMS
Copyright Information: © The Author(s) 2022. Open Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated in a credit line to the data.
Date Deposited: 28 Oct 2022 01:47
FoR Codes: 42 HEALTH SCIENCES > 4202 Epidemiology > 420202 Disease surveillance @ 100%
SEO Codes: 20 HEALTH > 2003 Provision of health and support services > 200303 Health surveillance @ 50%
20 HEALTH > 2004 Public health (excl. specific population health) > 200404 Disease distribution and transmission (incl. surveillance and response) @ 50%
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