Multisector Collaboration Model for COVID-19 Diagnostics in the Philippines
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Zuellig family foundation, Philippine society of public health physicians (PSPHP), Block 3 lot la residencia virginia subdivision, majada out, calamba city, Philippines 4027, Philippines
Provincial health office of agusan del sur
Publication date: 2023-04-26
Popul. Med. 2023;5(Supplement):A993
Background and Objectives:
The fragmentation and unpreparedness of the healthcare system for the management of the COVID-19 pandemic led to high local transmission and mortality. Due to the lack of testing facilities for COVID-19, the local government of Agusan del Sur depended on national and regional molecular laboratories with a turnaround time of 5 to 10 days. Hence, the late detection of COVID-19 resulted to further spread and overwhelmed the local health system capacity. This study aimed to determine the effectiveness of establishing a molecular laboratory through a multisector collaboration.

Applying the Health Change Model by the Zuellig Family Foundation, the leaders received training, coaching, mentoring, and technical assistance with an increased sense of urgency to establish and institutionalize effective and efficient testing for COVID-19 to cater to the people of the province and the nearby areas in northeastern Mindanao. The empowered leaders of the province collaborated with different public agencies, civil society organizations, and the private sector to contribute expertise and valuable resources to establish their own molecular laboratory for faster COVID-19 detection.

The proactive and collaborative approach in the province of Agusan del Sur to institutionalize its own testing capacity resulted in a significant reduction in turnaround time from 5-10 days to less than 24 hours and even less than 4 hours for stat samples in emergency cases. The expanded testing capacity made a huge contribution in identifying, isolating, and managing SARS-CoV-2 positive individuals, facilitating biosurveillance activities and research

The empowered leaders exemplified the Health Change Model in engaging stakeholders to share accountability and prioritize the building of reliable and sustainable diagnostic testing for COVID-19 and for other infectious diseases. Early detection of COVID-19 effectively controlled and rapidly reduced the infection and subsequent mortality in the community.

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