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Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2011 May;84(5):820-4. doi: 10.4269/ajtmh.2011.10-0597.

Evaluation of a comprehensive refresher training program in malaria microscopy covering four districts of Uganda.

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Department of Medicine, Makerere University Medical School, and Uganda Malaria Surveillance Program, Mulago Hospital Complex, Kampala, Uganda.


Microscopy remains the gold standard for malaria diagnosis. However, quality microscopy services are severely lacking in most African countries. To improve capacity for malaria microscopy in Uganda, a 3-day refresher training program was conducted in four districts. Training impact was measured through a written examination and evaluation of the quality of blood-slide preparation and accuracy of field microscopy. A total of 184 of 192 (96%) identified laboratory personnel participated in the training. Average test scores improved from 41% to 75% (P < 0.001). A total of 1,079 and 1,190 routinely made thick blood smears were collected before and after the training, respectively. Sensitivity improved from 84% to 95% (P < 0.001), and specificity improved from 87% to 97% (P < 0.001). The proportion of well-prepared blood smears improved from 6% to 75% (P < 0.001). Supplemental training can have a significant impact on the knowledge of staff, accuracy of microscopy, and quality of blood-slide preparation.

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