FIND to share COVID-19 testing experience with the President of Tanzania and other global health experts at the World Innovation Summit for Health (WISH)

11

WISH is a global summit organized biannually by the Qatar Foundation, bringing together leading experts and decision makers to address pressing global health challenges

DOHA, QATAR: FIND (www.FINDdx.org) Chief Access Officer will join a discussion with H.E. Samia Suluhu Hassan, President of the United Republic of Tanzania and other distinguished panellists, calling on governments and decision makers to prioritize local manufacturing capacity as a key part of their pandemic preparedness and resilience planning; the session will take place at the World Innovation Summit for Health (WISH), which is convening leading experts and decision makers this week to address pressing global health challenges.

FIND, the global alliance for diagnostics, will share experiences from leadership of the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator (https://www.ACT-a.org/) diagnostics pillar at a distinguished panel session during the World Innovation Summit for Health (WISH) (https://2022.WISH.org.qa/), taking place this week in Doha, Qatar. The session, titled Bridging the supply chain gap to deliver resilience, will take place 13:15–14:15 AST, in Ballroom 3 of Multaqa.

Dr Emma Hannay, FIND Chief Access Officer, will join a discussion with H.E. Samia Suluhu Hassan, President of the United Republic of Tanzania; Jean-Paul Scheuer, Regional Vice President of Sanofi; and H.E. Ahmad Al-Sayed, Minister of State and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Free Zones Authority in Qatar.

Uneven distribution of supply has been one of the key barriers to roll out of COVID-19 tests. Despite the significant demand for global COVID-19 tests, test manufacturing capacity remains highly centralized in a few countries, contributing to complex supply chains and pushing up costs.

FIND is calling on governments and decision makers to prioritize and invest in local manufacturing capacity as a key part of their pandemic preparedness, integrated into strategies to close critical health system gaps, particularly in primary care.

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, limited local production capacity within already-fragile health systems in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) has resulted in an exclusive reliance on global supply chains for diagnostic tests – and left many healthcare providers unable to access urgently needed tests (https://bit.ly/3rwOr6A). This contributed to a wide disparity in testing rates: while high-income countries, at the end of Q2 2022, conducted 2.01 tests per 1,000 people each day, LMICs only achieved rates of 0.04 tests per 1,000 people (https://bit.ly/3SZL9V1).

FIND is working with ACT-Accelerator partners to address supply chain issues, by facilitating investments in local manufacturing and supporting technology transfers (https://bit.ly/3V5ihN2) from high-quality test developers to manufacturers based in LMICs. Manufacturers in Africa, Asia, and South America have been supported to expand production capacity and enable end-to-end manufacturing. FIND has also commenced conversations with countries in the Middle East that have shown an interest in supporting local diagnostic manufacturing.

Such investments in plugging supply chain gaps and in local manufacturing will benefit communities and health systems beyond the COVID-19 pandemic. ACT-Accelerator partners are now developing a plan to support countries as they transition to long-term COVID-19 control, ensuring they have equitable and sustained access to the medical countermeasures needed to manage it. It will in parallel maintain a state of readiness to ramp up programmes and support to countries, if and when the epidemiological situation calls for it.

WISH is a global summit organized biannually by the Qatar Foundation (https://www.QF.org.qa/), bringing together leading experts and decision makers to address pressing global health challenges.

About FIND:

FIND, the global alliance for diagnostics, seeks to ensure equitable access to reliable diagnosis around the world. We connect countries and communities, funders, decision-makers, healthcare providers and developers to spur diagnostic innovation and make testing an integral part of sustainable, resilient health systems. We are working to save 1 million lives through accessible, quality diagnosis, and save US$1 billion in healthcare costs to patients and health systems. We are co-convener of the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator diagnostics pillar, and a WHO Collaborating Centre for Laboratory Strengthening and Diagnostic Technology Evaluation.