Purchasing and Using RDTs

Assessing Cost Effectiveness of Diagnosis

Assessing whether introduction of RDTs will be cost-effective compared to symptom-based diagnosis is vital to the appropriate allocation of scarce health resources in endemic countries. The cost-effectiveness of RDTs in areas of high prevalence, in particular, has been controversial. The attached report and model are designed to assist decision-makers in determining the appropriateness of RDT introduction in areas of high prevalence in Sub-Saharan Africa. These tools have been developed by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and Sammy Shillcutt, with support from the Special Programme for Training and Research in Tropical Diseases (TDR) and WHO-Regional Office for the Western Pacific. The model allows modification to specific epidemiological and cost conditions that vary between malaria-endemic countries.

Relevant links and documents


The Interactive Model is a Microsoft Excel-based programme. Before running, change 'macro settings' in MS Excel to medium or low. Medium is recommended. To protect computers, settings should be returned to a higher setting after use.


Please read the 'Assumptions' and 'Model Limitations' sections of the Interactive Model.

The full report is produced by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, and contains detailed notes on the background and parameters used to develop the model.

The views expressed in, and outputs of, this unit are the work of the authors and developers, and do not necessarily reflect the policies of the World Health Organization.

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