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).

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Project STELLAR: Supporting the COVID-19 Response

Project Stellar to help countries expand diagnostic testing for Covid-19

In Sub-Saharan Africa, COVID-19 testing rates are still low in most

Countries. One of the reasons for this is inadequate investment in laboratory capacity. There is a similar trend in testing rates for HIV, TB, and malaria.

In addition, despite the availability of rapid antigen tests, many countries have not effectively decentralized testing to a community level. 

New investment 

Since February 2022, C19RM 2021, the response arm of the Global Fund, has been investing US$800 million across 100 countries to procure COVID-19 diagnostics and commodities.

Project Stellar was created in February 2022 within the Global Fund to support countries in reaching Covid-19 testing goals and strengthen laboratory systems over the longer term. 


It aims to offer assistance with planning, mobilizing resources, and creating a targeted advocacy program to encourage testing. Countries will also receive help in developing a diagnostics strategy and algorithm.

Other goals for the project that will run up to December 2023 are to scale up testing, including training and community outreach, and the management of data and surveillance systems.

The project will also aim to improve regulatory approvals of rapid antigen tests and coverage for COVID-19 testing.

Another goal is to advocate for wastewater-based surveillance and epidemiological monitoring at a country level. Wastewater surveillance often provides an early warning system of cases rising. 

Project Stellar will also help countries to strengthen data management and surveillance systems. 

Add Resources - Scaling Up & Sustainability

Nairobi’s boda-boda riders take part in COVID-19 study

This discussion brief for a FIND and Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) dissemination meeting on May 2021 focused on the riders of bicycles and motorcycle taxis, commonly known as boda bodas, in Nairobi, Kenya.

The operational research study used digital solutions, in conjunction with Ag-RDTs, to support decentralized COVID-19 and TB testing and linkage to healthcare of the subjects. 

It aimed to:

  • Create demand for testing among boda-boda riders.
  • Identify potential cases of COVID-19 and TB using a digital screening tool and link them to testing and care.
  • Measure COVID-19 and TB positivity rates among boda-boda riders.
  • Evaluate the performance of the Ag-RDT against RT-PCR.
  • Assess the effectiveness of the digital tool for comprehensive data capture.

The study was implemented jointly by JKUAT and MoH, in four counties: Machakos, Kiambu, Nairobi and Kajiado. 

The Boda-Boda Safety Association of Kenya (BAK) played an indispensable role in demand creation, and digital messaging was also used for sensitization. 

A total of 5,663 boda-boda riders enrolled in the study, all of whom received a general medical check that included measuring blood pressure and blood sugar.

There was high demand for community-based testing services not only among riders, but also from passers-by.

Following digital screening for COVID-19 and TB symptoms, 4,946 participants were selected for COVID-19 testing, with 372 of these also tested for TB .

Significant findings

Notable findings include:

  • A high prevalence of non-communicable diseases, and a relatively low national health insurance coverage, with 42% of riders having elevated blood pressure, and 48% abnormal blood sugar.
  • An overall COVID-19 positivity rate of 1% was found among those tested with Ag-RDTs. Of the participants who also received a PCR test, the overall positivity rate was 5%. There were differences between the four counties.
  • Of those tested for TB, no cases of COVID-19 and TB co-infections were found. However, more than half the participants reported respiratory symptoms.

What are the recommendations?

  • There is strong interest in, and uptake of, diagnostic services at community level, which could be leveraged to expand access to testing.
  • Integration of COVID-19 screening with screening for other respiratory diseases, such as TB, can optimize the value of community-based testing.
  • Boda-boda riders should be a priority group for health interventions.
  • Digital solutions can enhance delivery of decentralized diagnosis.

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Add Resources - Research & Development

Assessing COVID-19 digital tools in Kenya

This case study of Machakos and Mombasa counties in Kenya was conducted by the Ministry of Health, Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, and FIND in 2021.

It mapped the use of digital tools to strengthen COVID-19 screening, testing, contact tracing and case management.

It makes findings on:

  • Management of COVID-19 in Machakos and Mombasa
  • COVID-19 management cascade
  • Use of digital tools
  • Primary and secondary outcomes
  • Epidemiological outcomes.

Key challenges are presented, and recommendations made on:

  • Screening process
  • Testing
  • Contact tracing
  • Management.

It also provides general recommendations to improve the use of digital tools for COVID-19 management in Kenya.

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Resource Centre - Publications

The Impact of COVID-19 On HIV, TB And Malaria Services and Systems For Health: A Snapshot from 502 Health Facilities across Africa and Asia

The impact of COVID-19 on HIV, TB and Malaria Services and Systems for Health: A snapshot from 502 health facilities across Africa and Asia.

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