The World Health Organization estimates that nearly half of the world’s population is at risk for malaria, a life-threatening, but ultimately curable and preventable disease spread by mosquitos.
Malaria rapid diagnostic tests are an important part of the fight against the disease, but according to new research from MIT, supply chain challenges keep these tests from making it onto clinic shelves, putting patients at risk of misdiagnosis, which over time can lead to antibiotic resistance.
MIT researchers have just released a new report evaluating these malaria rapid diagnostic supply chains in Uganda, where misdiagnosis is common and where many patients turn to the private sector — local pharmacies, clinics, and drug shops — for malaria treatment and care.
The report, “Evaluating Business Criteria for Scaling Stock of Malaria Rapid Diagnostics,” details the study design and findings of the latest experimental evaluation implemented by theComprehensive Initiative on Technology Evaluation (CITE), a program supported by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and led by a multidisciplinary team of faculty, staff, and students at MIT.
Launched at MIT in 2012, CITE is a pioneering program dedicated to developing methods for product evaluation in global development. CITE researchers evaluate products from three perspectives, including suitability, or how well a product performs its purpose; scalability, or how well the product’s supply chain effectively reaches consumers; and sustainability, or how well the product is used correctly, consistently, and continuously by users over time.