Special COVID-19 ECHO Session #21


September 8, 2020

On 13 August 2020, this COVID-19 ECHO session was convened to discuss optimised diagnostic networks key role in responding to COVID-19. Optimised national diagnostic networks are key to increasing access to high-quality diagnostics. With the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, some sub-Saharan African countries leveraged more than a decade of investments in strengthening and optimising their diagnostics networks, particularly for HIV and TB, to quickly adopt and integrate SARS-CoV-2 testing across existing conventional and point-of-care (POC) platforms. In this session we discuss the impact of optimised diagnostics networks in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic; how diagnostic capacity mapping, data management, sample transport, and waste management have helped drive uptake of SARS-CoV-2 testing; and the related experiences from Nigeria, Cameroon and Zimbabwe. Guest speakers included George Alemmji, U.S. President’s Emergency Plan For AIDS Relief (PEPFAR); Smiljka de Lussigny, Unitaid; Charles Atem, Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI), Cameroon, Ughweroghene Omo-Emmanuel, USAID, Nigeria; Raiva Simbi, Ministry of Health, Zimbabwe; and Lara Vojnov, World Health Organization (WHO). The session is relevant to medical laboratorians, national stakeholders responsible for planning the scale up of clinical laboratory networks in their respective countries, and program/project officers managing COVID-19 responses, including advocates for improved access to clinical laboratory diagnostic services. Please follow the links posted here to view the recorded video session on ASLM’s YouTube channel, and download the presentation slides from the session. The Q&A for this session is pending. Please check back for updates.