EXPERTS from the Research Institute of Tropical Medicine (RITM) and World Health Organization (WHO) will be visiting Northern Mindanao this week to evaluate the laboratories if they are capable to be used as testing centers in the region.
Dr. Ian Gonzales, Department of Health (DOH)-Northern Mindanao Infectious Diseases cluster head, on Monday, April 6, said they are scheduled to arrive in the region on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Among the laboratories to be evaluated, Gonzales said, includes the laboratory at the Northern Mindanao Medical Center (NMMC), the DOH’s TB Reference Laboratory, and some other private hospitals’ laboratories.
“Soon basin makaya na nato pud mag test dinhi sa rehiyon,” Gonzales said.
He added that since the region is already done with the first stage, which is the self-assessment, the experts will be conducting their external assessment which will determine the timeline on when the region can proceed to the next stage.
Meanwhile, Gonzales has also reminded the local government units that public facilities cannot use the rapid test even though it was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
City Mayor Oscar Moreno said that there are some local government units who have already started or at least considered procuring the machines for rapid testing.
Gonzales said that while the FDA has approved the rapid test, the Health Technology Assessment Council, however, determined it not recommended to be used in public facilities as it is still not accurate for testing.
“Based on their study, although si rapid test nipasar sa FDA pero ang iyahang sensitivity and specificity sa ato pa unsa sya ka accurate maka detect, dili kaayo maayo,” Gonzales said.
“Pananglitan naay pasyente na naay sintomas unya i-test nato sya mo-positive sya sa test, kailangan gyapon nato i-test utro gamit atoang PCR. Kung mo-negative pud sya sa test, kailangan gihapon nato i-test with PCR,” he added.
Gonzales said its applicability is not excellent and it is not useful for diagnosis on patients with symptoms of coronavirus disease (Covid-19).
“Ang applicability niya dili kaayo maayo, wala kay sya matabang sa atong diagnosis sa pasyente nga naay symptom mao wala gi-recommend pud ni Department of Health nga gamiton sya for public facilities,” Gonzales said.