As the world continue to tackle the COVID-19 crisis, Caritas Nigeria on her part is working hard to deliver support to her health-care givers. Recently, a three-day stepdown training was organised by the organisation to help health care facilities  working on Covid 19 Rapid Diagnostic Tests. The training...

took place at the Gold Crown hotel, Owerri, Imo state from 3-4th August, 2022. The participants were comprised of 20 facilities( Anti-retoviral therapy clinicians and laboratory focal persons).

The climax of the training was on Covid-19 Testing strategy and the presentation of the overview of the Nigeria COVID-19 response plan and implelmentation timelines starting from the first documented COVID-19 case on the 31st August, 2019 and further review of its scientific background and emergence. The laboroatory technical officer, Mr. Jeffery Ibekwe, used interactive training methodology to unpack the COVID-19 testing strategy with in-depth and relatable examples so as to have a clear understanding of the testing strategies. He also facilitated High Quality Antigen Testing: explaining the different Ag-based Rapid Diagnostic Testing (RDT) options available saying that the RDT has a sensitivity of 80% and has a specificity of 97%.

On Safety-infection, Prevention and Control; Dr. Orji Chukwuemeka O, Technical officer Care and Treatment, discussed the different modes of transmission of COVID-19 which is mainly spread by respiratory droplets that come from the nose or mouth of an infected person; adding that most droplets travel around 1-2 meters before falling to the ground or onto a surface. He also talked about the airborne spread and direct spread via contact with an infected surface. He went further to talk about the risk assessment question, moments of hand hygiene and standard methods of disinfecting contaminated surfaces.

Mr. Festus Nwachukwu, Assistant Technical Officer Lab and Mr. Joachim Duile Lab Advisor, facilitated Sample Collection & Antigen Testing: Involving the processes in collecting Covid-19 samples, the technique employed in collecting the sample, the materials needed for collecting the samples, the various types of samples that can be collected from an individual, the storage and transport media for the samples collected. They also talked about the process in carrying out the test and how results are interpreted.

Following the training, the participants were given a test and was supervised by facilitators aimed at having a baseline evaluation of the knowledge of participants on the appropriate and safe use of Rapid Diagnostic Tests (RDTs) for Covid-19 diagnosis.

Finally, the laboratory advisor, Mr Joachim Duile, encouraged the participants to hit the ground running in their various facilities; to make sure they put into practice what they have learnt beacuse the more they practice, the more proficient they become.


Report and pictures courtesy Joy Onuoha from Imo State.

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