"Not only are RDTs cost effective, they are convenient because no power, skilled personnel or sophisticated instruments are needed to realise results," says Dr Elizabeth Juma, head of the Division of Malaria Control (DOMC) at the Ministry of Public Health and Sanitation.
says the process is rapid because it takes 15 minutes to determine whether the patient is positive or negative and proceed to the next stage.
"Microscopy takes more time with the extraction of blood samples that must be smeared on a slide and stained for easy scan under a microscope.
RDT is a short cut from that cumbersome and expensive route," says Dr Juma
Besides monitoring the availability of drugs at remote health centres, explains Dr Juma, SMS for Life helps health managers at district and higher levels all the way to the Kenya Medical Supplies Agency know on a weekly basis the consumption of RDT kits at a particular health centre, the number of patients tested and their malaria status and what else needs to be done.
"With easy accessibility to tests and drugs at their neighbourhoods and ability by health officials at higher echelons to promptly keep pace with the progress on the ground, the SMS approach is bound to be effective," says Dr Juma
says in places where it has been rolled out fully like Tanzania, SMS for Life has been more effective than nets that have been used for fishing and converted into wedding gowns in some places.