altona joins forces with WHO to eliminate yellow fever epidemics
April 7 is World Health Day and marks the anniversary of the founding of WHO in 1948. We take April 7 as an occasion to report on the most recent cooperation between altona Diagnostics and the WHO.
altona has developed the first commercially available RT-PCR test for the detection of the yellow fever virus, the RealStar® Yellow Fever Virus RT-PCR Kit 1.0. The test is featured on the start page of the WHO “Eliminate yellow fever epidemics (EYE)” website. Included is a public report by the laboratory from the arbovirus disease branch of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Fort Collins, Colorado.
Based on our YFV RT-PCR test, in 2021, our Sales Representative for Africa Leonie Hecht was contacted by WHO to participate in laboratory trainings as part of the EYE initiative. In the EYE strategy, a collaboration between GAVI, the Vaccine Alliance, UNICEF and WHO to take measures to contain yellow fever virus epidemics, diagnostics play a pivotal role. Therefore, standardized real-time RT-PCR protocols for the YFV test should be established in 24 African countries, whose lab staff should be trained in the use of real-time PCR tests. To enhance the competence of the lab staff, altona Diagnostics contributed with a permanently available training video for our RealStar® Yellow Fever kit.
The first official use of the videos followed in November 2021. altona professionals travelled to Senegal to train lab staff from French-speaking African countries. The videos were shown and formed the basis for the subsequent lab training at the Pasteur Institute in Senegal’s capital Dakar. The usefulness of the videos was highly valued and praised by participants. In the meantime, another successful assignment in Africa took place in Uganda and further training projects are planned for 2022.
You’ll find the training videos on our altona Diagnostics YouTube and Vimeo channels in English, Spanish, French, and Portuguese with corresponding subtitles.
Impressions from the RealStar® Yellow Fever Virus RT-PCR Kit 1.0 training in Senegal, November 2021