During the COVID-19 pandemic, the First Nations Health Authority (FNHA) in British Columbia led an innovative initiative to strengthen testing capacity by facilitating the verification and implementation of molecular diagnostic testing in rural and remote First Nations communities. This unique Community Based Testing (CBT) program engaged over 20 communities across BC to help coordinate reliable “point of need” COVID-19 testing in some of the most remote regions of the province. Building on experiences of community based COVID-19 testing, there is interest in using this network to expand the scope of testing available in these settings for influenza A and B and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV). First Nations, particularly in northern and remote settings, are at higher risk from these respiratory viruses. There is a need to better understand local needs, feasibilities, challenges, and opportunities, including community support for expanding testing capacity of these platforms towards improved implementation and sustainability. The aim of this project is to compile lessons learned from implementing CBT for COVID-19 and to expand the scope of CBT to include RSV/Influenza testing in the community. The data generated from this project justified seeking funding from BC Ministry of Health Innovation Fund to support study and implement self-collected sample types for respiratory illnesses.
Publications and presentations:
Nelson H, Kinshella MW, Song JT. A Qualitative Systematic Review of the Barriers and Facilitators to Implementation of Community-based Molecular Testing. PROSPERO 2023 CRD42023397800 Available from: https://www.crd.york.ac.uk/prospero/display_record.php?ID=CRD42023397800
Nelson H, Kinshella MW, Goldfarb D. Bringing respiratory diagnostics to point of care in remote Indigenous communities. Stakeholders presentation to First Nation’s Health Authority Research and Knowledge Exchange; 2023 Sep 22; Vancouver, Canada
Nelson H, Kinshella MW, Cochrane J, Mooder K, Rajesh N, Goldfarb D. Bringing respiratory diagnostics to point of care in remote First Nations communities. Loon Lake Knowledge Sharing and Future Priorities Meeting (BC Centre for Disease Control; First Nations Health Authority; BC Children’s Hospital); 2023 Oct 6; Maple Ridge, Canada
Nelson H. Implementation of influenza and RSV molecular testing in Canadian rural and remote Indigenous communities. Institute for Global Health Rapid Fire Technology/Research Day; 2023 Jun 6; Vancouver, Canada.
Nelson H, Song JT, Kinshella MW, Goldfarb D. A Qualitative Systematic Review of the Barriers and Facilitators to Implementation of Community-based Molecular Testing. Presented at: BC Children’s Hospital Research Institute Healthy Starts Research Day 2023; 2023 Feb 1; Vancouver, Canada