As a co-convener of the ACT-Accelerator’s Diagnostics Pillar, the Global Fund is working closely with key partners, international organizations, governments and technical agencies to rapidly and equitably support access to COVID-19 health products and diagnostics tools for low- and middle-income countries. Key resources on procuring and running diagnostics are below.
In order to detect SARS-COV-2, laboratories were initially using nucleic acid amplification tests (NAATs) such as real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (rRT-PCR) assays. While this method has been highly reliable, it also comes with a certain cost and time investment and many countries face challenges in access to this form of testing.
Ag RDTs therefore represent a significant step forward in reinforcing the effectiveness of COVID-19 response strategies because of their low cost of approximately US$3 per test, turnaround of results within 30 minutes and without the need to rely on laboratory instruments.
Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests continue to play an essential role in the COVID-19 response strategy per WHO’s guidance. The Global Fund encourages implementing countries to move swiftly and prepare to strategically deploy Ag RDTs as well.
The Global Fund will make SARS-CoV-2 diagnostics available for procurement to countries through its funding mechanisms when:
For further information on the availability of tests for the other platforms, Principal Recipients should contact their Principal Recipient Services focal point in the Supply Operations Department or their Country Team.