Scaling up COVID-19 Diagnostics using Antigen Rapid Diagnostic Tests (Ag RDTs)

20 May 2021

Operational Update on Important Considerations for COVID-19 Response Mechanism (C19RM) 2021 Funding Requests
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As Country Coordinating Mechanisms (CCMs) continue to develop C19RM Funding Requests, they should consider to urgently scale up Antigen Rapid Diagnostic Tests (Ag RDTs) for COVID-19 and strengthening healthcare safety and infection prevention and control.

Ag RDTs play a critical role and their scale-up addresses the urgent need for wider access to COVID-19 diagnostics in diverse clinical and non-clinical settings, particularly as demand outstrips current laboratory capacities. Implementing countries are strongly encouraged to ensure that national testing policies for COVID-19 explicitly address whether non- laboratory staff, specifically health care workers at facility level, lay cadres including community health workers and village health workers, are authorized to conduct Ag RDT testing and under what conditions. For example, considering training, quality assurance, supervision, biosafety and Infection Prevention and Control.

Depending on the national policy and strategy environment, the related testing policies should explicitly address task-shifting within C19RM funding requests. The Global Fund will share WHO guidelines on this topic as soon as WHO makes them available on their website.

For more information see the Briefing Note on the Scale-up of Community Testing for SARS-CoV2 using Ag RDTs - download in English