Sanniquellie – Nimba County has received 1,600 pieces of Rapid Diagnostic Test kits from the World Health Organization, according to Paul Nyazee, Director of the Community Health Services Department of the County Health Team.
Report By: Joseph Solo, Jr. in Sanniquellie, Nimba County
The disclosure comes following remarks by the county’s health surveillance officer in December 2020 that every health facility in the county had COVID-19 test kit. It now appears that information was incorrect.
And quoting a WHO source on January 18 in Sanniquellie, Mr. Nyanzee said the consignment of test kits will be distributed to “selected health facilities [in the county] soon”, adding that the kits were brought in the county because of the influx of Ivorian refugees.
“As you may be aware, the Nimba County Health Team does not want to be overwhelmed with the task of mobile testing, so we at the county health team are working with our partners, specifically the World Health Organization to provide these RDT kits at the various port of entry and selected health facilities to get specimen from travelers, refugees and people who go to those health facilities for health services,” he said.
These kits have the capacity to give test results between 10 to 15 minutes after the collection of specimens, Mr. Nyanzee said.
In September 2020, the WHO, along with its global partners in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, announced that it will provide 120 million rapid-diagnostic antigen tests to people in lower- and middle-income countries like Liberia.
According to the Nimba County Health Services Department Director, the 1,600 RTD test kits are “enough to cover about 75 health facilities and catchment clinics” in the county but he said “specific attention will be given to communities hosting refugees and bordering communities in the county”.
He said the kits have been procured and are being stored in the county by the WHO.
“Our partner (WHO) had earlier planned to dispatch these consignments of test kits but according to them, a component of the kits known as the Lancets’ (used for pricking the finger to collect blood samples) were not present in the various kits”, Mr. Nyanzee disclosed.
He furthered informed LocalVoicesLiberia that the WHO is planning a mass launch of the kits – an occasion that would be “an elaborate and special one”, although he did not disclose the date and venue for the launch.