To support the response to COVID-19 and appropriate use of diagnostics in particular, WHO developed interim guidance and technical briefs to assist policy-makers and laboratories on testing for the virus that causes COVID-19, including using SARS-CoV-2 Ag-RDTs. In addition, WHO developed training packages such as the training package on SARS-CoV-2 Ag-RDTs, released in November 2020, in collaboration with WHO collaborating center, FIND. In addition, an online self-learning course ‘SARS-CoV-2 antigen rapid diagnostic testing’ was published on the OpenWHO training platform in July 2021.
Building on these key milestone releases, WHO and FIND are now making available an online learning course to help countries to strengthen the roll-out of Ag-RDTs. The course is based on the SARS-CoV-2 Ag-RDT implementation guide developed by WHO in partnership with global health stakeholders through the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator. The course provides an overview of the major elements that must be considered
before, during and after the implementation of Ag-RDTs for SARS-CoV-2 in order
to support the implementation of RDT testing across the diagnostic network. Speakers
will notably discuss the integration of Ag-RDT testing within the testing
strategy and the response plan, the importance of communication and community
engagement, key aspects of procurement and supply chain management, but also
the importance of training and quality assurance, as well as data management
and the monitoring and evaluation framework required to accompany
implementation and usage of Ag-RDT testing
The course is divided into 3 main modules and participants will obtain a certificate of completion after successfully completing an end of course assessment. This course is aimed at laboratory stakeholders, notably those involved in planning at central level but also other health stakeholders as well as all relevant professionals tasked with the implementation of RDT testing, including ministries of health, donors, public and private organisations.
The course has been launched in English on Monday 31st January 2022 and is freely available to all interested via the OpenWHO platform. It is hoped that this course will facilitate the roll out of Ag-RDTs by national level implementors.