Photo: UNDP in Sudan

Innovative diagnostic methods for Covid-19 donated to Kyrgyzstan by the UNDP and the Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria give accurate results in 30 to 45 minutes. “This is meant to help faster diagnose Covid-19. Within an hour we can find out the results of eight people, and the accuracy of the analysis is 99 percent,” said the Deputy Minister of Health Madamin Karataev during the government’s daily briefing on June 26th.

 “We are very grateful to the UNDP, who bought cartridges for us, and we are now studying the possibly of buying an additional 50 000 cartridges thanks to World Bank funds,” he said.

On June 16th, the UNDP project “Effective HIV and TB control in the Kyrgyz Republic”, funded by the Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria donated 6550 PCR tests to the Ministry of Health. These new tests can provide Covid-19 diagnostic thanks to GeneXpert machines, usually used by laboratories to diagnose tuberculosis and resistance to rifampicin, the main anti-tuberculosis drug. GeneXpert machines can also be used to control viral load for HIV patients, early infant diagnosis of HIV, Hepatitis C, seasonal influenza and now Covid-19 diagnosis. 

The ceremony of transferring tests and ventilators to the Ministry of Health of the Kyrgyz Republic. Photo: Ainagul Abdrakhmanova / UNDP Kyrgyzstan

The tests received an Emergency Use Authorization from the United States Food and Drug Administration on March 20th and have since been recommended in certain contexts to confirm Covid-19 diagnosis. These tests provide great accuracy, are easy to operate and do not necessitate additional equipment or extensive trainings, since laboratories where GeneXpert machines are used in the country are already comply with biosafety rules, and the staff is familiar with the GeneXpert system. 

The ceremony of transferring tests and ventilators to the Ministry of Health of the Kyrgyz Republic. Photo: Ainagul Abdrakhmanova / UNDP Kyrgyzstan

 “Following the country’s request, we decided to purchase these innovative tests for Covid-19 to fasten diagnostic, especially among vulnerable groups. These test are great because give us very fast and precise result and allow not to waste time and start the treatment in time ”, said Inga Babicheva, HIV / TB Coordinator for the UNDP project.

The tests provided by the UNDP / Global Fund project are meant to be used as a priority to diagnose patients with TB or HIV for Covid-19. 

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