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Bosoka et al

Journal of Public Health, Pharmacology and Toxiclolgy

Available online at

Vol.2(1), pp.11-22, August 2017.

ISSN: 2536-684X

Article ID: JPHPT/JDYA25691729

Copyright © 2017

Original Research Paper

Performance Evaluation of Laboratory Professionals on Malaria Microscopy in the Volta Region of Ghana

Samuel Adolf Bosoka1,Martin Adjuik1, Wisdom Takramah1, ,Elvis Tarkang2*,  Margaret Kweku1

1Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Public Health, University of Health and Allied Sciences, Ho, Ghana; Ghana.

2Department of Population and Behavioural Sciences, School of Public Health, University of Health and Allied Sciences, Ho, Ghana.

*Corresponding Author.

Received 16 May, 2017; Accepted 12 July, 2017, 


Background: Every malaria case needs to be tracked in a surveillance system. This means that every case that returns for follow-up after treatment must be tested and confirmed by microscopy but not with Rapid Diagnostic Test (RDT). However, studies have shown that light microscopy has been neglected in control programmes and evidence suggests that field standards are commonly poor. This study evaluated the performance of laboratory professionals on malaria microscopy in the Volta Region. Methods: A cross-sectional study design was used among 15 participants working in 10 health facilities in the Volta Region. A standardized pre-validated slide panel and questionnaire were distributed to participants. The slide panel was made up of 10 positive and 10 negative blood films slides. Participants were asked to examine the slides and their readings were compared to the expert readings. Agreement in detecting malaria parasite between participants and expert were estimated using the kappa score. Results: A total of 15 participants with mean age of 38.6±14.4 years were included in the study. The overall sensitivity and specificity of the participants in detecting malaria parasites were 86% and 77%, respectively. The overall positive and negative predictive values were 73% and 88%, respectively. The overall percent agreement between participants and expert Microscopist in the detection of malaria parasites was 80% and the Kappa index was 0.61. Best performing participants received training within the past 12 months. However, there was an overall weak positive relationship between participants and the expert on malaria parasite quantification (r=0.31, p<0.001, α=0.05). Conclusion: The overall performance of participants in the detection and quantification was moderate, even though, the overall sensitivity, specificity, positive and negative predictive value and percent agreement of participants, were not greater than or equal to 90%. Training is needed in order to improve the performance of Microscopists.

Keywords: Malaria microscopy, Performance, Laboratory professionals, Volta Region, Ghana.