The Nigerian Centre for Disease Control has recently (NCSC) published new guidelines for State Governments, public and private institutions, on the use of the recently approved Antigen based Rapid Diagnostic Test (RDT) for coronavirus cases.
In September 2020 the World Health Organization (WHO) announced the emergency use of Authorisation on two Antigen Rapid Diagnostic Tests (RDT) used for Covid-19 cases. Following on from this announcement, the NCDC and various other stakeholders carried out a number of tests and enquires with the intention of validating the RDT’s. After some months, the screening process indicated that the RDTs meet the minimal standards for sensitivity and specifically the Covid 19 diagnostic tests. The NCDC stated that as more rapid tests become approved by the WHO, the increased likelihood they will be considered to be used in Nigeria. However, rigorous testing, screening and examination needs to be approved before approved for public or private use.
The RDTs are provide a significant advantage in comparison to other testing methods, the most effective being the shorter turnaround times and the reduced cost. The effective use of RDTs will enable the State Governments of Nigeria to increase mass testing and providing care for people with Covid 19. The NCDC recommends the RDT’s are used primarily in congregate settings such as schools, hospitals and the use of testing healthcare workers in prisons, etc.
Ag-RDTs developed Abbott and SD Biosensor have a increasing number of advantages including being highly portable and easy to administer to recipients. However, the test needs to be administered by a healthcare professional in a infection prevention and disease controlled environment to give the most reliable and accurate response.
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Source: The Nigerian Centre for Disease Control, January 2021