|Basic Malaria Microscopy (part I and II) (WHO - OMS, 1991, 72 p.)|
This Learners Guide, Part I of the publication Basic malaria microscopy, is made up of teaching material on each of the activities involved in diagnosing malaria by microscopy. Together with Part II, the Tutors Guide, it forms one component - or module - of a series of teaching materials on malaria. The Guide is designed to be used throughout a formal period of training and provides information and instructions in a simple, easily understandable form. It is also intended to be used as a reference after training. Reference materials of this type are sometimes called job aids. The information contained in this Learners Guide has been made as complete as possible, which reduces the need for note-taking during lectures, demonstrations and other exercises.
For whom is the Learners Guide designed?
The Guide is designed for general health service and laboratory personnel who will carry out the activities described.
At the end of the training programme based on this Learners Guide you should have acquired the skill and competence that will enable you to:
· appreciate the importance of malaria as a disease
· recognize the common signs and symptoms of malaria
· record details about patients on the appropriate forms
· make thick and thin films of blood taken from people with suspected malaria
· stain blood films for examination with Giemsa stain
· maintain the microscope in good working order
· use the oil immersion objective and the correct ocular to examine thick and thin blood films, and:
- recognize the various components of normal blood
- recognize and measure the density of malaria parasites, and correctly identify their stage and species
· record accurately the results of your examination on the appropriate form
· inform those people responsible for the treatment of malaria patients of your findings
· use the information in this Guide to teach other public health workers to make thick and thin blood films
· submit reports and requests for supplies when necessary
· recognize the need to take special precautions when handling blood to prevent transmission of blood-borne viral infections.
How this subject will be taught
Facilitators are people who work with the tutor to help you to achieve the objectives outlined above. The tutor has wide experience in malaria microscopy and is able to help you to solve a wide range of problems. Facilitators will lead discussions and provide general help to individuals and to small groups of learners.
Formal presentations of information, in the form of lectures for example, will usually be kept to a minimum and each session will be as short as possible. The information that will be given in such sessions is already contained in this Guide, so there will be very little need for you to take notes. A lecture presentation will usually be combined with a demonstration.
Demonstrations will either be used to illustrate activities that you will later carry out yourself or consist of looking at specimens and equipment that you need to know about and be able to use.
There will be as many practical sessions as possible. They are intended to help you to gain as much practical experience as you can in all aspects of malaria microscopy. In some, each facilitator will work with a small group of four or five learners. Because there are only a few learners in each group, the facilitator will be able to give a great deal of attention to each individual: this increases your opportunities to practise and to learn.
In a role-play exercise you will be asked to pretend to be a person in a situation that may arise in your job. For example, you may be asked to play the part of a laboratory worker preparing a blood film from a patient suspected of having malaria. Another learner will play the part of the patient. Afterwards, members of the group will discuss what was said and done. Much can be learned from this enjoyable type of exercise.
Small group discussions
In these exercises, a facilitator will lead discussions on particular subjects. These sessions provide good opportunities for you and the other learners to give your opinions, develop your ideas and learn from one another.
Field work and visits to work places
A number of these types of visit may be arranged. They are designed to give practical experience of real-life situations and allow you to learn about the problems you may meet in the course of your daily work.
Evaluation of the learner
The evaluation of individual progress and achievement will be carried out by the tutor, the facilitators and you yourself. It will include:
· Spot tests
At regular intervals, a series of spots will be set out for you to comment on. The spots may be microscopic specimens or other items linked to what you have learned. They are designed to help you and the tutor assess how well you have mastered the skills and developed the competence to carry out your work.
Correct answers will be supplied after the spot tests and a discussion will take place. This is intended to improve the process of learning and help you to identify those activities in which you need further practice.
· Multiple-choice quizzes
In multiple-choice quizzes, each question is provided with a list of possible answers from which you must select the one you think is correct. At the end of these sessions you will not necessarily be given the correct answer to each question, but the tutor will analyse the results to identify topics that were not clearly understood. The tutor may also tell you where you made mistakes and point out areas where you need to improve.
This part of the evaluation is designed to help you and the tutor to assess how well you understand the non-practical aspects of the course. Multiple-choice tests will take place regularly, often during the same session as spot tests.
Evaluation of the training by the learner
By means of a questionnaire, the tutor will ask you, the learner, how you think the training has helped you and how it might be improved. This evaluation will take place at the end of the training period in order to provide as much feedback from the learners as possible. You may sign the questionnaire or not, as you wish, but you should feel completely free to make suggestions for improvements on the part of the tutor and facilitators as well as in the content of the course and the training facilities.
Use of the Learners Guide
This Learners Guide consists of instructional materials designed to enable you to achieve the objectives stated earlier. The Guide is divided into chapters called Learning Units. You must acquire the skills and knowledge contained in one Unit before progressing to the next, otherwise you may have difficulty in achieving the objectives of subsequent Learning Units.