Deciding where to place GeneXpert for TB testing is constrained by financial resources, geographical and administrative representation, road networks, spatial variation in TB burden and population demand. GeneXpert platform multiplexing for SARS-CoV-2 testing presents even further considerations for where to expand Xpert machines and cartridge distribution, and how to balance TB and COVID-19 testing priorities. The workshop will be conducted through an online game-like environment, which builds on KIT’s existing MATCH diagnostic optimization game. In the game the government of fictitious country Iwalamba has given a proportion of TB facility laboratories the mandate to use their Xpert platforms for COVID-19 testing in addition to the routine TB and HIV testing workload.
Workshop participants will face four new challenges in the updated game, revolving around optimizing TB testing availability and maximizing 20-kilometer catchment population access to TB and COVID-19 Xpert-based diagnostic services, while minimizing the negative impacts of diverting TB resources to meet COVID-19 testing needs.
Prof Madhukar Pai, McGill University Global Health Program, McGill International TB Centre, Canada/Cambodia
Dr Mirjam Bakker, KIT Royal Tropical Institute, Netherlands
Lucie Blok, The Netherlands: "Interpreting epidemiological data to influence public health policy decisions for TB and COVID-19 diagnostic placement"
Dr. Kekeletso Kao, Senior Program Manager on the FIND Access team: "Balancing TB & COVID-19 testing to maximize throughput while also factoring in existing lab & lab network infrastructure"
Kameko Nichols, Independent Consultant: "Integrating specimen transport networks for TB and COVID-19"
Prof Madhukar Pai, McGill University Global Health Program, McGill International TB Centre, Canada/Cambodia: "Balancing priorities when diverting TB resources for COVID testing"