Testing for SARS-CoV-2 infection is essential for the control of COVID-19, enabling epidemiological surveillance and implementation of public health measures. At the community level, swift identification and isolation of new cases, combined with contact tracing, are important tools for controlling virus transmission.
In December 2021, FIND’s Global Health Security (GHS) Operational Research (OR) team commissioned 17 community-based SARS-CoV-2 testing approaches in low-and middle-income countries (LMICs). The selection process was highly competitive as it became widely recognized among public health specialists that a health center-based approach was insufficient with regards to reducing SARS-CoV-2 transmission within communities. The proposals selected all demonstrated a clear community-based strategy for using SARS-CoV-2 antigen diagnostic tests for a timely and effective public health response.
The studies commissioned took place in 13 countries: Uganda, Malawi, Zimbabwe, Jamaica, Cameroon, Zambia, Kenya, Thailand, Suriname, Mozambique, South Africa, Mali, and Tanzania. More information on the outcomes of these research studies will be available in 2023.