Grace Wairimu at a rehab centre in Kilifi County where she came to do her HCV self-test. 04.03.2020, Kilify County, Kenya Photo credits: FIND / Brian Otieno
©FIND/Brian Otieno

Self-testing and self-care

We are working to introduce new and expand access to existing self-tests for hepatitis and COVID-19

Self-testing can improve access to diagnostics to everyone, regardless of their location or social status.

Self-testing refers to a self-care approach that enables people to take their own sample, perform a simple test, and interpret the result themselves. Self-sampling is when people collect their own sample before sending it to a health facility for testing.

Self-tests can be made available in pharmacies, as well as in non-traditional settings such as supermarkets. They can be provided by employers for use in workplaces, and also offered to people in health facilities to use while they are waiting to see a health professional for unrelated reasons. Access to self-tests can be enabled through formal healthcare programmes, or through individual choices to buy and use self-tests outside of regular healthcare services.

WHO recommends self-care interventions for every country and economic setting as critical components on the path to reaching universal health coverage (UHC), promoting health, keeping the world safe and serving the vulnerable. During the COVID-19 pandemic, self-testing gained significant momentum, and its successful deployment in many countries demonstrated its value in response to global health threats. The pandemic provided a unique window of opportunity, with learnings and best practices established that should now be evaluated for potential applicability in other diseases as part of comprehensive self-care packages. It is also important to identify pathways that can enable fast scale-up and rollout of self-testing services as part of future outbreak response mechanisms.

Self-testing can uniquely empower people to take control of their health, and has proved to be an important tool in the COVID-19 response.

Marta Fernández Suárez

Chief Technology Officer

Accelerating access to SARS-COV-2 self-testing

During the COVID-19 pandemic, private and public entities rallied to help in the fight against the disease, and unprecedented innovation in self-testing was seen across the globe. We worked with countries to optimize COVID-19 self-testing service delivery strategies to reduce transmission and improve access to care.

Our projects were organized to deliver four outcomes:

  1. Tailored self-testing packages
  2. Use case specific tool-kits
  3. Evidence to support policy development
  4. Demand generation on testing and self-testing

FIND test directory

Search our test directory for information about approved self-tests for COVID-19.