LabCoP Recipe 4: Decentralising COVID-19 PCR Diagnostic Capacity to Sub-National Level

September 28, 2020

Decentralising laboratory testing for COVID-19 to on a national scale will be effective if COVID-19 nucleic acid testing is extended to subnational levels. However, this expansion process from national to sub-national levels has to be balanced carefully so as to meet the increasing demanding for the COVID-19 testing service while maintaining a high quality of tests results released. Currently, across the African continent, country efforts under the leadership of the presidents’ offices and their respective ministry of health are tirelessly working to increase coverage for COVID-19 testing. To facilitate these strategic efforts, ASLM’s LabCoP, together with its partners, developed the best practices recipe for decentralising COVID-19 PCR diagnostic capacity to sub-national level. The various strategies discussed include governance and coordination planning, expansion measures, testing site selection, testing site installation, and routine testing operations monitoring. This booklet is useful and relevant to laboratory professional, health workers engaged in day-to-day testing of COVID-19, public health experts, members of COVID-19 taskforces, program personnel involved in COVID-19 response among others.