LabCoP Recipe #6: How to Maintain HIV and Tuberculosis Testing Services During Health Emergencies

October 9, 2021

Essential diagnostic tests satisfy priority healthcare needs of a population and are selected based on disease prevalence, public health relevance, evidence of utility and comparative cost-effectiveness. Whereas essential testing services are such a critical piece in disease diagnosis, treatment monitoring, research and ongoing surveillance; pandemic containment measures, including repurposing testing capacity to the response, quarantine, social distancing, and other movement-limiting directives inevitably impact essential diagnostic service provisioning. This recipe developed by ASLM’s LabCoP and partners summarises key considerations and best practices that, when applied, should ensure continued delivery of essential diagnostic services for human immune deficiency virus (HIV) and tuberculosis among other infectious diseases. The various strategies, considerations and best practices discussed in this booklet include mandating government support, provision of policy guidance that ensures continued testing, test integration, maintaining IPC at facility level, reinforcing support systems and ensuring consistent equipment up time. This guide, available in both English and French, is useful and relevant to laboratory professional, health workers engaged in day-to-day testing, public health experts, members of COVID-19 taskforces, program personnel involved in pandemic response and managers of laboratory directorates among others.