Testing

List of Govt. Approved Labs For COVID-19 Testing

According to the Ministry of Health, as of June 2020, the existing laboratory capacity in Kenya could test at least 7,300 samples a day if all manual and automated platforms are utilised and reagents are available. As of 8 June 2020, for SARS-COV-2 testing, there were 10 laboratories with high throughput capacity and 15 other laboratories with low throughput.

Source: Ministry of Health

What To Do If You Think You Might Be Infected With SARS CoV-2?.

If an individual has symptoms of fever, cough or difficulty breathing then they should call the toll free number: 719. The individual will be directed to the nearest facility with capacity to screen, collect samples for the laboratory and manage the patient. If safe transport is not available, then an ambulance with appropriate personnel and PPE will be dispatched to pick the patient. Safe transportation includes a private car where all the occupants including the sick person use masks. Public transport (matatus, buses, Ubers, taxis) should not be used to transport sick individuals to the nearest isolation facilities as these are likely to propagate the spread of infection.

On arrival to a facility or arrival of the ambulance, health personnel will assess the patient to determine if they meet the case definition.

For patients who meet the case definition, on arrival to the facility, staff will ensure that they don appropriate PPE, move the patient to isolation, assess to get better history and conduct a physical exam

 

Source: Ministry of Health

Priorities for Testing

According to the Ministry of Health Targeted Testing Strategy report, people who fall under any of the following criteria will be tested for COVID-19.

  • All individuals meeting MOH case definitions, a definitive diagnosis will be required for purposes of focused management.
  • All individuals presenting to a health facility with symptoms of upper or lower respiratory tract infection and also who fulfil the 3 ‘suspect criteria’
  • All health care workers who have been in contact with a COVID 19 patient without appropriate PPE for up to a maximum testing of once every 14 days.
  • All closed household contacts of confirmed cases
  • All trans-border and long-distant truck drivers – this group presents a special subgroup due to their movement across geographical locations.
  • All prison remandee – any remandee before eventual conviction into a jail sentence poses the risk of infecting a whole prison.
  • In settings with community transmission, contacts who are at risk of developing severe diseases and vulnerable populations.

Testing Process

The lab will collect any of the following samples from you

  • Swab sample: The lab will take the sample from the inside of the throat using a special cotton swab.
  • Nasal aspirate: The lab will inject a saline solution into your nose, then remove the sample with gentle suction.
  • Tracheal aspirate: A thin, lighted tube called a bronchoscope goes into your lungs, where a sample will be collected.
  • Sputum test: Sputum is a variation of mucus from your lungs that can be coughed out or sampled from the nose with a swab.
  • A blood test

The collected sample will be analysed for the virus, either through a blanket test for all variants of the coronavirus (including regular flu) or through a specialized gene sequencing test that locates the marker for the novel coronavirus.