Featured Work - Awareness & Advocacy

Understanding barriers to diagnostics access in Madagascar

Communities in Madagascar face numerous barriers in accessing diagnostics services. In this rapid assessment, led by Matahari Global Solutions, in partnership with the community-based organisation Ankizy Gasy, and supported by FIND, 43 individuals living in rural and semi-rural communities in Madagascar were interviewed to understand availability of diagnostics, and to understand barriers to accessing diagnostics.

This rapid assessment found a complex diagnostics environment marked by high out-of-pocket spending for diagnostics relative to income, relatively long distances to get to primary healthcare centres, doctors prescribing antibiotics with incomplete diagnostics regimens or no diagnostics at all, poor clinical practices on diagnostics (such as use of inaccurate terminology), and insufficient data about stockouts. Because rapid malaria tests are provided for free, doctors offer these more regularly, but upon a negative result are unable to recommend additional tests because of the cost barrier. The assessment also found that rural communities overwhelmingly wanted more accessible and affordable testing – and perceived that people they knew were dying from ‘unknown diseases’.

To learn more about the results of the assessment, and recommendations to address the barriers revealed, click below.

Featured Work - Awareness & Advocacy

Let’s Test Toolkit

The COVID-19 pandemic exposed global gaps in testing for communicable and noncommunicable diseases, and these gaps disproportionately affect individuals and families in low- and middle- income countries (LMICs). A staggering 81% of the population in LMICs don’t have access to many of the most simple tests available (Lancet, 2021).1

UNICEF has responded to this global gap in testing by developing the “Let’s Test” Toolkit, which aims to support Advocacy Champions in their goal to increase the use of quality testing in their own communities, through both increased supply and demand generation. This Toolkit, utilizing evidence based strategies,  provides step-by-step guides and assets to support impactful and productive engagement with policymakers to advocate for increased supply of quality testing. Communications assets, facilitation tools, memorable info-bites and content for social media campaigns are also provided to drive informed community-level demand and use of quality testing in LMICs.

The “Let’s Test” Toolkit has been informed by research in five LMICs and was designed with consideration for global health best practices for engagement, advocacy and social behavior change communication (SBCC). Practical guidance is also included to enable users of the Toolkit to tailor advocacy and communication assets for specific country and community contexts. 

Access the Toolkit here to learn more:

1 Lancet Commission on Diagnostics: transforming access to diagnostics (2021)

Resource Centre - Media & Press

COVID Testing Equity: A Reflection Based on 1.5 Years in the ACT-Accelerator

Dr. Fifa Rahman, Prof Brook Baker, and Dr. Carolyn Gomes, ACT-A CSO Representatives for the Diagnostics and Therapeutics Pillars, have come together to author an op-ed on the need to accelerate testing equity for diagnostics and other COVID-19 tools. 

At the time of writing, access to rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) and self-tests for COVID-19 were widely accessible in the Global North, but access in the Global South was far more constrained. The authors urgently call upon global health actors within the ACT-Accelerator to take action, including calling on WHO to accelerate development of guidelines for self-testing.

Featured Work - Awareness & Advocacy

FIND and Unitaid invest US$2 million to support advocacy for COVID-19 test-and-treat approaches in low- and middle-income countries

FIND, the global alliance for diagnostics and Unitaid are investing US$2 million in a coordinated advocacy programme spanning 19 low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) designed to boost access and uptake of COVID-19 tests and treatments. A total of 21 organizations with a diverse range of healthcare expertise have been selected from more than 300 applicants, following a request for proposals (RFP) and competitive selection process that included assessment by a panel of independent reviewers. Criteria for funding included previous public health advocacy experience and expected impact of test-and-treat advocacy in the targeted region.

Projects range in duration from 6 to 18 months, and will raise awareness of COVID-19 testing and treatment among the public, key opinion leaders, and specific high-risk and vulnerable groups. Partners include (listed alphabetically by country): Mhair Educational, Health and Human Rights Organization (Afghanistan), Family Planning Association of Bangladesh (Bangladesh), IMAG Communication (Burkina Faso), Maison des Associations de lutte contre le Sida (Burkina Faso), Health Poverty Action Cambodia (Cambodia), Caritas Développement Mbujimayi (Democratic Republic of the Congo), TB Alert India (India), Pi Consulting (India), Kenya AIDS NGOs Consortium (Kenya), Health Poverty Action Laos (Laos), Caritas Lesotho (Lesotho), ESTAMOS (Mozambique), REDTRANS (Nicaragua), Shifa Foundation (Pakistan), Media for Deaf Rwanda (Rwanda), South Sudan Community Change Agency (South Sudan), Sikika (Tanzania), Université Mahmoud El Materi (Tunisia), HEPS (Uganda), Zambia Interfaith Working Group (Zambia), Pan-African Treatment Access Movement (Zimbabwe).

Add Resources - Awareness & Advocacy

FIND and partners from the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator Diagnostics Pillar call on the G20 and G7 to prioritize diagnostics in its pandemic preparedness and response plans

The COVID-19 pandemic has shown that access to timely, accurate diagnostics is fundamental to effective healthcare. The Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator is a unique but time-limited partnership that was set up to respond to the acute phase of the COVID-19 pandemic.

As world leaders including the G7 and G20 are aligning efforts for future pandemic preparedness and creating a G7 Pact for Pandemic Readiness, FIND and ACT-Accelerator Diagnostics Pillar partners call on both G7 and G20 to reaffirm commitments relating to diagnostics as part of the 100 Days Mission put forward during the UK G7 Presidency in 2021.

Add Resources - Awareness & Advocacy

Call to G20 leaders to uphold diagnostics and equitable access to testing

A CALL TO ACTION ahead of the upcoming G20 health meetings, for world leaders to uphold diagnostics and equitable access to testing within their commitments to support sustainable recovery from COVID-19.

Ahead of the Global Health Summit on 21 May 2021 and the 74th World Health Assembly, the global health and development community, following the FIND high-level forum, Testing is the first line of defence against COVID-19 and the foundation for preparedness to prevent future pandemics, call upon the World Health Organization, the European Union, the African Union, and the Heads of State from the G20 and G7 Presidencies to take vital action to uphold diagnostics and equitable access to testing.

Featured Work - Awareness & Advocacy

EPI-WIN: Science for communities during health emergencies

WHO has established the Information Network for Epidemics (EPI-WIN) to provide timely scientific information on health emergencies and to co-create solutions through dialogue with affected communities.

EPI-WIN technical information includes updates and links to webinars, youth engagement, the COVID-19 infodemic and a COVID-19 transmission package.

Areas of work include:

  • Innovation for engagement
  • Networks
  • Norms and standards
  • Infodemic management.

This work involves translating science for better health emergency preparedness, and strengthening partnerships in the faith community.

Read more here