Evidence for Integrating Point of Care Diagnostics as an Integral Part of Primary Healthcare in South African Rural Communities: A People-centred Health System-strengthening Approach
Poster Sep 19, 2014
T.P. Mashamba-Thompson, N. Moodley, M.M. Moshabela
Background: It has been estimated that the deployment of new POC diagnostics could prevent more than 1.2 million deaths in the developing world.
Objective: We conducted a scoping review on the impact of point of care testing (POCT) compared to laboratory tests for enabling the following patient centred outcomes in resource-limited settings.
Methods: A detailed search on NCBI, WED of Science and EBSCOhost for relevant publications from inception to current, combined into phrases including Boolean (AND, OR) using a keyword searches with the terms “rural communities”,“ point of care testing”, “ early diagnosis ” , “ improved healthcare outcome” and “access to healthcare”.
Results: 14 studies met the inclusion and quality criteria. There appears to be growing interest in the integration of POCT for management of HIV, detection of HIV co-infections. However, evidence to date, does not adequately address other components that are crucial to the sustainability of POCT services such as: accessibility; availability; acceptability; reliability of POC diagnostics in resource limited settings as well knowledge and skill level of current POCT amongst all stakeholders.
Conclusion: Further evaluation of current POC diagnostics is necessary prior to adoption and scale up of POCT in South Africa’s resource-limited settings.