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This content is taken from the Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics, African Society for Laboratory Medicine & London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine's online course, COVID-19: Diagnostics and Testing. Join the course to learn more.

Skip to 0 minutes and 11 secondsHello. I'm Cassandra Kelly-Cirino, the Director of Emerging Threats at FIND, the Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics, and I'm the lead educator on this course. We're in the midst of a global crisis, and the COVID-19 outbreak has reinforced how critical laboratory testing and diagnostics are to tackle this pandemic. As Dr. Tedros Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General, said in a media briefing on the 16th of March 2020, "the most effective way to prevent infections and save lives is by breaking the chain of transmission, and to do that you must test and isolate. We cannot fight a fire blindfolded. We cannot stop this pandemic if we don't know who is infected. We have a simple message for countries-- test, test, test."

Skip to 0 minutes and 54 secondsLaboratory services are under severe pressure to rapidly scale up testing for COVID-19. There are a multitude of tests for COVID-19 available and being marketed globally. What tests should be used in the COVID-19 response? What strategies can be used to rapidly scale up testing capacity? What can we learn from other countries who have already scaled testing capacity? This course will help you answer these questions and allow you to connect with your peers to be able to share experiences of your COVID-19 diagnostics and testing. FIND is pleased to be partnering with the African Society for Laboratory Medicine and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, LSHTM, to bring you this course.

Skip to 1 minute and 39 secondsI am joined by Collins Odhiambo Otieno from ASLM and Debi Boeras from the LSHTM as educators on the course. Hello. I'm Collins Otieno Odhiambo, and I lead the Laboratory Systems Strengthening Community of Practice at the African Society for Laboratory Medicine. We are joined by a team of mentors who are here to help guide you through the course. They bring a wealth of experience with diagnostics and laboratory systems strengthening, particularly in low- and middle-income settings. We look forward to your active participation. Hi. I'm Debi Boeras, director of the International Diagnostics Centre USA at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

Skip to 2 minutes and 20 secondsI want to highlight that this course is about more than just sharing information and guidelines, as much as these are important elements. Given the rapid evolution of the epidemic and challenges faced everywhere, we want to create a platform to bring you together as a learning community to share your experiences and how you are coping with the challenges that you face and using your own expertise to help others facing similar obstacles. I wish you all the best on your FutureLearn COVID-19 Testing and Diagnostics journey. Remember, each one of you has a critical role to play in fighting this pandemic. Thank you.

Welcome to the course

Welcome to the “COVID-19 diagnostics and testing” course. This course is brought to you by FIND (Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics), the African Society of Laboratory Medicine (ASLM) and the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM).

FIND is a global non-profit organization that drives innovation in the development and delivery of diagnostics to combat major diseases affecting the world’s poorest populations.

ASLM is an independent, non-profit organization founded in 2011 that coordinates, galvanizes and mobilizes relevant stakeholders from the local to international levels to improve local access to world-class diagnostic services and ensure healthy African communities. ASLM is the first pan-African society for laboratory professionals, endorsed by the African Union and supported by multiple African Ministers of Health through its Ministerial Call for Action.

The London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine is a world leader in research and postgraduate education in public and global health. Its mission is to improve health and health equity worldwide.

Watch this video to see Dr. Cassandra Kelly-Cirino, your Lead Educator describing the purpose of the course and what you will learn.

In Week 1, you will learn about the role of diagnostics in the COVID-19 response and review different types of diagnostics and testing strategies

In Week 2, we will focus on molecular testing for COVID-19, engaging with global recommendations for their use, test selection, and explore technical and operation considerations

In Week 3, we will look at immunoassays for COVID-19, reviewing global recommendations and the latest data informing their use. We end the course by reflecting on what the COVID-19 pandemic is teaching us and implications for the future.

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This video is from the free online course:

COVID-19: Diagnostics and Testing

Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics