This is Jennifer from the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) in the Philippines, demonstrating lot testing of a malaria rapid diagnostic test (RDT), at a workshop in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, in 2016. © FIND/J.Rae

Jennifer's quality training

FIND and WHO coordinated an independent global quality assessment programme for malaria RDT lots for a decade. The programme assessed lot-to-lot variations in RDT performance to ensure that only malaria RDT lots that meet performance standards were used in endemic countries. Since 2011, lot testing has been mandatory for all Global Fund grant recipients and has been adopted by all other major RDT procurers.

The global lot testing programme tested over 5000 RDT lots – over 900 million RDTs – destined for more than 70 endemic countries. The testing was supported by donors and conducted free of charge for health ministries, malaria control programmes, RDT procurers, implementing organizations and RDT manufacturers, using Jennifer’s reference laboratory in the Philippines (RITM), as well as one in Cambodia (Institut Pasteur).

This systematic, WHO-endorsed assessment of malaria RDTs has helped countries buy quality tests, which has transformed the malaria market and enabled test-and-treat strategies for control: 96% of tests now meet quality standards – versus 23% in 2006.

Following successful completion of this project, the programme transitioned to WHO at the end of 2018. Information is available on the WHO website.