This Rwanda Biomedical Centre presentation, part of the second International Conference on Public Health in Africa (CPHIA 2022), assessed aspects of SARS-CoV-2 testing in Rwanda.
The study aimed specifically to evaluate how community health workers (CHWs) used antigen-detecting rapid diagnostic tests (Ag RDTs) alongside a clinical screening digital tool (e-ASCOV) at household level to test for COVID-19 at household level.
It selected 800 CHWs across eight districts in Rwanda to participate, asking them how they perceived their role in delivering care, as well as the experience of the clients.
Most participants (83.4%) reported that the e-ASCOV app was easy to use. Most (89.6%) also reported that nasal RDT was easy to administer, and the results easy to read.
All the CHWs supported the use of digital tools and RDTs for COVID-19 testing. Most participants (83.4%) reported that the e-ASCOV app was easy to use. Most (89.6%) also reported that nasal RDT was easy to administer, and the results easy to read.
These results highlight that it is possible to implement COVID-19 testing at household-level, to support community-based surveillance for early case detection and management.
The study showed the potential to use similar digital tools for other diseases to support healthcare services delivery closer to the community, and for evidence-based decision making.
It also suggests that the programme needs to be scaled up to train other CHWs and extend the e-ASCov to malaria, TB, and other diseases.