Today on the show, we have Aalisha Sahu Khan and Professor Patrick Reading. Aalisha is the Head of Health Protection at the Fiji Ministry of Health and Medical Services, where she oversees a broad portfolio that includes environmental health, health emergencies and climate change and communicable disease control. Patrick is a scientist and educator at the WHO Collaborating Centre for Reference and Research on Influenza based at the Doherty Institute at the University of Melbourne.
In this episode, Patrick talks about the Doherty Institute’s partnership with The Pacific Community, SPC, to increase laboratory capacity in Pacific Island countries to test for the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19.
In addition, SPC has been working with the WHO Joint Incident management Team lab cell and the Pacific Islands Society for Pathology have been working on a protocol whereby up to 4 or 6 samples could be tested in in a single GeneXpert cartridge to scale up testing. Patrick will give us an update on Doherty’s support for this development.
Aalisha reflects on the work that has gone into expanding the Fiji Centre for Disease Control's capacity to be able to test for the SARS-CoV-2 virus and what having domestic capacity has meant for preparedness and response.
For more information about the Indo-Pacific Centre for Health Security, visit our website https://indopacifichealthsecurity.dfat.gov.au
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