Improving Access to COVID-19 Screening and Testing in African Countries

08.02.2021

A new joint initiative from the Botnar Research Centre for Child Health and the European and Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership will support three COVID-19-related projects in low- and middle-income countries, including a project led by Swiss TPH and Zambart that improves access to COVID-19 screening and testing in Lesotho and Zambia.

Researchers conduct community outreach in remote areas in Lesotho in order to increase access to essential health services. Photo credit: SolidarMed and Swiss TPH

A new Botnar Research Centre for Child Health (BRCCH) and the European & Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership (EDCTP) Collaboration Initiative will support three projects that range from immunology to diagnostics and health screening strategies for COVID-19 in low- and middle-income countries, including a project from Swiss TPH on improving access to COVID-19 screening and testing in Lesotho and Zambia.

The projects, which are a complementary extension to the ongoing research activities being funded by BRCCH and EDCTP, will launch in early 2021 and will be supported with 900,000 CHF in total funding over a period of two years.

Improving Access to SARS-CoV-2 Screening and Testing

One of the three projects is led by Swiss TPH and Zambart, and will investigate the effects of community-led interventions, rapid point-of-care diagnostics and swab self-collection in mitigating the impact of COVID-19 in Lesotho and Zambia. The project will be carried out by a 14-member consortium, including collaborators based at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, SolidarMed, FIND, and KNCV Tuberculosis Foundation.

"We are looking forward to this opportunity to contribute to the fight against COVID-19 through SARS-CoV-2 rapid diagnostic tests in the communities and the use of digital tools, with the aim to speed-up testing and working towards mitigating COVID-19 impact in these regions." said Klaus Reither, co-project lead and Head of the Clinical Research Unit at Swiss TPH.

Klaus Reither

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