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New FIND partnerships make COVID-19 rapid tests available to refugees and internally displaced people in the Middle East

In March 2022, FIND announced two new partnerships with the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the International Rescue Committee (IRC) to implement rapid antigen testing among vulnerable groups in the Middle East.

Rapid antigen tests detect a protein that is produced by the body in response to infection with SARS-CoV-2. 

It is a low cost tool that produces fast results in low-resource settings, but access to these tests has been limited in some parts of the world.

In areas such as the Middle East, for example, there has been considerable displacement due to conflict and humanitarian emergencies .

The Syrian crisis has forced 6.9 million people from their homes within the country and created 5.7 million refugees in the wider region. This fragile situation was compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic and  a shortage of testing capacity in an already vulnerable community of refugees and displaced people.

Access to rapid antigen tests was urgently needed.

The new partnership deployed 100,000 COVID-19 rapid antigen tests to Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon and northern Syria. 

The project will build local capacity to use the tests effectively and train healthcare workers, and also aims to develop testing algorithms.