Using Cascade Analysis to Improve Malaria Diagnosis and Treatment in Congolese Children
BACKGROUND: Malaria is a leading cause of global morbidity and mortality; 12% of the world's malaria cases occur in The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), half of which are in children under five. The DRC has embraced WHO treatment guidelines, which promote prompt and effective diagnosis and treatment of malaria; however, significant implementation challenges have prevented effective uptake. Cascade analysis is a strategy used to evaluate system performance and identify and prioritize system gaps and challenges; however, despite being used for other diseases such as HIV, the strategy has yet to be utilized to optimize malaria treatment.
GAP: The goal of this research is to design and test a novel tablet-based cascade analysis tool that can contribute to improved pediatric malaria case management in Kinshasa. We will do this by adapting an existing HIV cascade analysis tool for pediatric malaria treatment in the DRC.
HYPOTHESIS: A malaria cascade analysis tool will be usable and feasible to implement by health workers to identify gaps in pediatric malaria case management, and health care workers will find the malaria cascade analysis tool acceptable to use.
METHODS: The study will utilize a mixed-methods approach to measure the usability, feasibility, and acceptability of a novel cascade analysis tool for pediatric malaria treatment among health workers at four health facilities in Kinshasa Province.
IMPACT: An optimized malaria cascade analysis tool will aid health workers, supervisors, and malaria program managers to identify and better understand gaps in service provision for children seeking treatment for malaria, the enabling step on the pathway to improving care.