COVID-19 diagnostics & testing online course launched today

As the world struggles to contain the COVID-19 outbreak, healthcare infrastructure and testing capacity have emerged as major issues. Different countries have implemented different testing strategies, and from the range of diagnostic tests available, some have received authorization for use by national regulatory agencies.

There’s a need for independent evaluation of these tests and guidance on implementing safe and reliable testing.

In partnership with the African Society of Laboratory Medicine (ASLM) and the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), FIND has developed a massive open online course (MOOC) on COVID-19 diagnostics and testing. It provides the latest recommendations on COVID-19 testing, and up-to-date information on the performance of tests and how best to deploy them.

Launched today on the FutureLearn platform, the course will run for 3 weeks. Topics covered include:

  • The current state of the COVID-19 pandemic and the role of diagnostics in the response
  • The different types of diagnostic tests and their use in the COVID-19 outbreak
  • The current recommendations on use of COVID-19 diagnostics and testing strategies
  • How countries are establishing and scaling up COVID-19 testing, and key considerations for safety, quality and impact of diagnostic services

Course materials are presented in a range of different formats, including video, PowerPoint presentations, articles, case studies, and reference materials for further reading. References are made to web-based materials and published papers. Learners can participate and complete the course at their own pace to fit with the demands of busy schedules.

FIND Director of Emerging Threats, Dr Cassandra Kelly-Cirino, is lead educator on the course. She is joined by course educators Dr Collins Otieno Odhiambo, Project Lead at ASLM, and Dr Debi Boeras, Director of the International Diagnostics Centre, USA at LSHTM.

A discussion forum is available for participants to interact and is moderated by members of all three institutions while the course is running.

The course is offered free of charge, with certification available for a fee.

Nearly 10,000 participants have signed up already. Sign up here and please spread the word among your colleagues.