LSTM’s public fundraising campaign ‘Bump it Forward’, launched in January, which aims to protect healthcare workers in Africa against the COVID-19 pandemic, is calling for additional support to purchase urgently needed rapid diagnostic tests.
Thanks to the generosity of over 4,500 donors, the campaign has already raised over £256,000 (inc.Gift Aid), and to-date has committed £250,000 to purchase PPE for healthcare workers in Malawi, Kenya, Zimbabwe, Uganda, Liberia, Tanzania and Sierra Leone
The pandemic continues to put already fragile health systems under considerable pressure amidst a surge in infections across many countries in Africa.
LSTM’s partners and colleagues overseas are again reporting shortages of supplies, including urgently needed rapid diagnostics tests, which help to determine rates of COVID-19 infection in staff and patients. In Kenya, there is fresh talk of further healthcare worker strikes due to the lack of PPE and essential equipment to keep them safe.
Dr Hellen Barsosio, a Clinical Research Scientist at KEMRI Centre for Global Health Research, said:
“In Kenya we are seeing the rapid spread of the Delta variant of COVID-19, which is putting a huge pressure on our healthcare system. Over 80% of new cases test positive with this strain. We are also seeing more severe cases. In the previous waves, less than 20% of patients presented with severe symptoms, now more than 70% present with severe symptoms.
With less than 2% of the Kenyan population vaccinated and less than 50% of the healthcare workforce fully vaccinated, we still need to protect them until the vaccine reaches them.
One way we can do this is testing our workers and patients regularly. Currently, the PCR test is not diagnosing fast enough. Our testing facilities are off site, and we expect results back in 24 hours, which means by the time we detect the virus, it could have already spread. The rapid tests will give us a result in 15 minutes, allowing us to isolate quickly and provide adequate care.”
Rapid diagnostic tests and more PPE will help control the spread.
Your support can help save lives.
£6 will buy one test.
£24 will buy a pack of four tests.
£150 will buy a pack of 25 tests.
To donate, visit: www.justgiving.com/campaign/BumpItForward
For all the latest updates visit: www.lstmed.ac.uk/bump-it-forward
Follow the campaign on social media using #BumpItForward