Therapy Areas: AIDS & HIV
AHF awards SARS-CoV-2 viral sequencing machine to the Caribbean to help reduce test turnaround times
15 September 2021 -

AIDS healthcare organisation AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) on Tuesday announced an agreement with the University of the West Indies (UWI), St. Augustine Campus, Trinidad and Tobago to provide a genetic sequencing analyzer and reagents to expand UWI's ability to analyze and reduce test turnaround times, including Delta and Mu variants.

Jamaica and many of the countries in the Region are now experiencing severe increases in COVID-19 caused by the Delta variant, with many hospitals having exceeded capacity and others running out of oxygen. About five cases of the Mu variant were identified in San Vicente.

According to Dr Kevin Harvey, regional director of the Caribbean AHF, the machine has already been ordered and should be available within the next two or three weeks.

Dr Jorge Saavedra, executive director of AHF Global Institute of Public Health at the University of Miami, said the project is part of its broader initiative to improve early detection of new variants to allow proper planning and, in some cases, the expansion of existing genomic sequencing initiatives and the implementation of mitigation measures in several of the countries. It in final negotiations to provide support to establish genomic sequencing capacity in Jamaica to reduce the need for all samples to be shipped to Trinidad and Tobago.