I live in Nigeria and was wondering if there are ways to find out if I malaria without going to the doctor or a hospital?
The current “gold-standard” for malaria diagnosis, at least of active infections, is through microscropy, where a trained technician looks at a droplet of your blood on a slide, and sees if any of your red blood cells are infected with the malaria parasite. Given the expertise required for this procedure, it is usually only available through a doctor or in a hospital setting. Moreover, this technique is not reliable for very low numbers of parasites, though most active malaria infections will be positively diagnosed.
However, in the last ten years, there has been a rise in the availability and effectiveness of so-called rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) for malaria, which can be self-administered and so are able to be bought in a pharmacy and used at home. There are a wide variety of these tests, which work by using antibodies to detect the antigens produced by the malaria parasites. As such, the tests seem to be able to detect even low levels of parasitaemia, and in some cases can even tell you which kind of malaria you have. The tests usually come with all necessary materials, which include a lancet for pricking the fingertip for a drop of blood, although you should always check that everything is within the packaging (I have bought tests in Uganda which came without the buffer solution; this had to be purchased separately in this case). The WHO maintains a list of currently available RDTs (PDF).
Make sure the test you purchase is suitable for the type of malaria that is found in your region; many only test for P. falciparum, for example, which might not be appropriate for a region with high levels of P. vivax or other species.