COVID-19 lab testing appeal

May 2020

During the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, developing countries such as Nepal face a difficult challenge to prevent widespread infection and death. Nepal does not have the adequate infrastructure to hospitalise and quarantine the number of sick patients during a pandemic.

The WHO strongly recommends testing of suspects for COVID-19 and the individuals who have been in contact with them in order to control the infection in a community. However, Nepal lacks the appropriate resources (e.g. testing laboratories, kits, trained manpower), risks not being able to track and trace the infection.

We propose to assist Nepal by providing training from UK scientists and kits from generous donations by manufacturing companies around the world. Already the Nepal government has used the few goverment testing labs to conduct 60,000 PCR tests. Similar to other countries successful in controlling the spread of COVID-19 the government aims to increase the number of testing labs by allowing private companies to test individuals in localised areas.

The WHO has recommended the testing of COVID-19 infection using a reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR)-based protocol to target different viral genes. We will aim to use this technique if possible. As an alternative, the colorimetric loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) can serve as an alternative COVID-19 testing protocol in developing countries. This method does not require a PCR machine therefore would be easier to set up according to Giri et al., (2020).

Build With Nepal is a small charity that aims to assist Nepal in any way we can. Your kind donation will be directly helping stopping spread of COVID-19. We do not take any salary or administration costs – 100% of the money we receive goes to where it is needed.
We are an official UK registered charity number 1163313

References:

Anil K. Giri, Divya R.S.B.B. Rana, Charting the challenges behind the testing of COVID-19 in developing countries: Nepal as a case study,
Biosafety and Health, 2020, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bsheal.2020.05.002.

WHO, Critical preparedness, readiness and response actions for COVID-19: interim guidance

https://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/handle/10665/331511/Criticalpreparedness-readiness-and-response-actions-COVID-10-2020-03-22_FINAL-eng.pdf?sequence=1&isAllowed=y