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Table 1 Relative advantages of RDTs from health worker perspective

From: How can malaria rapid diagnostic tests achieve their potential? A qualitative study of a trial at health facilities in Ghana

Logistical advantages Diagnostic advantages Benefit to health worker-patient relationship
Nora, HFII 'From the beginning I like the RDT because it works quicker. By 15 minutes time you get a result.' Happy, HFIII 'It's so fast to know the patient is having malaria.' Flora, HFI 'Oh, it's simple, it doesn't waste time... The results come very simple and fast.' Anna, HFII 'When the result is out you go ahead and give the malaria treatment straight forward. But when the person goes to lab he won't come back today unless the following day or in three days time.' Fatima, HFIII 'Even at a place that there is no electricity you can use it to find out.' Jessica, HFIII 'I do not need a microscope that could be faulty to know if it is malaria or not.' Happy, HFIII 'It is not like the microscopy where you will say the person looking didn't see well or there might be some faults somewhere.' Esther, District Stakeholder 'It helps the lab men because it takes a lot of the load off them.' Anna, HFII 'In fact, when I came first with the RDT I was very happy because it can easily detect the malarial cases ... With the clinical [diagnosis] sometimes it is very difficult to diagnose ... so what we do is we still put the person on this routine drugs ... We the health workers will rather do the RDT and see whether the patient has malaria or not.' Jo, HFIII 'Ok the signs and symptoms are fine but ... I don't know why he is having the chill and the fever so we will ask him to go and in 30 minutes time, he'll come back with the RDT result. You get it? And it will help you to diagnose.' Jessica, HFIII 'It helped me to think more, because one thing I observed was that once the RDT tells me it is negative and then I think through almost all the time I get another differential diagnosis.' Esther, District Stakeholder 'You get your diagnosis done; doctor is happy patient is happy.' Grace, HFII 'I started enjoying it because I realized that the patients it was putting them at ease. They like it they really like it.' Jessica, HFIII 'Everybody wants to know what is going on in the blood. So when you say your sample is going to be taken then they are happy, they are satisfied.' Flora, HFI 'When you ask them to come to the test so that they will get the result and get treatment immediately so that the person gets well they are willing to do that.' Frances, HFI 'They like it in the first place that they don't go in for to the laboratory and it's time saving.' Anna, HFII 'The RDT facility that we are having here is making them to think that they have a new thing here ... So some of them will say, "when I went to [HFII] Health Centre I went to lab". They have been calling the RDT "lab." "So they tested my blood and they said it is so so and so"' So they are happy with it.' Frida, HFI 'Most of them prefer having the results so that you give the right treatment.'