US donates 25,000 UTM, 1050 BioFire kits to boost testing


THE United States government donated 25,000 universal transport medium (UTM) test kits and 1,050 BioFire Covid-19 test kits to the National Department of Health yesterday.
The donations came through the United States agency for international development and the US Department of Defence.
The US government provided funding to FHI 360 to assist in responding to the Covid-19 pandemic.
FHI 360 chief of party and country representative Dr Ignatius Mogaba said the Covid-19 assistance project focused on strengthening the health system at the national level and within NCD to prevent, detect and respond to threats posed by the Covid-19.
US ambassador to PNG, Vanuatu and Solomon Islands Erin McKee said: “Accurate and timely testing data supports decision makers to target response activities and provide vaccine supplies and medical support to address hotspot (areas) before they experience a full outbreak.”
The UTM test kits are a US FDA (food and drug administration)-approved collection and transport system designed to collect clinical specimens for the testing and safe transport of patients suspected to be Covid-19 positive.
The BioFire test kits are rapid diagnostic PCR (polymerase chain reaction) tests that can provide test results within 45 minutes or less for patients suspected of Covid-19.
The test kits donated by the US government is to boost PNG’s testing and patient management capabilities in rapid identification and treatment of Covid-19 positive patients.