Scaling up diagnostics during a pandemic is critical. COVID-19 testing lies at the foundation of a region's response. Only if people know their status can we reach our global goal of ending the pandemic as a public health threat.
The ongoing establishment of The Global Health Network's 'COVID-19 Working Groups' aims to address the discussion and gather consensus on the emerging COVID-19 research gaps across low-resource settings. This group was created to identify ways to enable better diagnostics and testing procedures.
Around 200 researchers from across the globe working or wanting to work in intervention trials have come together in this group to discuss ideas, form collaborations, access funding as well as share outputs and resources that others can use. There is so much experience that can be applied here - let’s use that to help this immediate need for supporting research everywhere there are cases, now!
On the 12th June, The Global Health Network supported the first virtual team meeting for the ‘Diagnostic Evaluation and Testing Open Working Group’.
The meeting was organised in response to questions raised in our recent COVID-19 workshops which highlighted the need for greater discussion around how to best enable diagnosis of COVID-19.
Following this first meeting, suggested starting points to work on were:
1) Strong call to do surveillance work on comorbidities and coinfections.
2) Shared protocols and creating a core protocol for testing?
3) Writing a position paper to influence their research priorities.
4) Examine the potential roles of test pooling, sputum sampling and LAMP tests in diagnosis of COVID-19.
Following this first meeting, team leaders met on the 20th of July and have decided to work on a position paper highlighting the challenges of diagnostics studies across LMICs. The team has been working and has shaped the outline for the position paper.
Team leaders met again on the 31st of July (minutes here) and have divided the different areas and working around bullet points to include.
A new meeting was held on the 8th of September (minutes here) to continue brainstorming the paper.
Leaders continue writing and a new meeting will be help in two weeks time. Updates on this will be posted soon.
Diagnostics Research Resources
As part of the COVID-19 Research Implementation Hub,
Here you are able to find all the working documents from the different WGs for you to comment on
If you are interested in joinig this group please register here and we will be in touch! We look forward to hearing from you and hope we can work together to support a strong and equitable global research response during this Pandemic.