The Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics (FIND) has announced the arrival of the first batch of test kits supported by PepsiCo India to Government of India testing sites across the country. These kits are being procured and distributed by FIND with funding from PepsiCo India.
FIND is a long-standing partner of the National Tuberculosis (TB) Elimination Programme (NTEP) (formerly known as the Revised National Tuberculosis Control Programme, or RNTCP) of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW), GoI, and has helped introduce new, rapid, quality-assured tests for TB at affordable prices for the public health sector. Building on this partnership, FIND is now working closely with the MoHFW to support the national Covid-19 diagnostics response, and with the World Health Organization (WHO) to accelerate development and access to diagnostics as part of the global response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
In response to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s call to the nation to help tackle the Covid-19 outbreak, PepsiCo India has come forward to support the scale up of India’s Covid-19 testing capacity through support provided to FIND, as well as other initiatives that include providing over 7 million meals to families impacted by Covid-19 outbreak in partnership with non-government organization (NGO) partners.
In collaboration with the country’s public and private laboratory network (approved by the Indian Council of Medical Research, ICMR), FIND has selected five GoI laboratories and one laboratory run by a partner NGO called YRG Care, based on urgent test kit requirement and the need for scale-up of Covid-19 testing. The laboratories identified across the country are set to receive these kits, along with RNA extraction supplies. PepsiCo India, has committed to extending its support to healthcare and diagnostic facilities by providing 25,000 Covid-19 test kits to FIND.
The test kits and reagents have been procured from Drug Controller General of India (DCGI)-approved manufacturers and are run using reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) technology, which is currently the gold standard for detecting patients with Covid-19.
The pandemic has emerged as one of the largest threats to global public health seen in generations. Testing is critical to “flattening the curve” and preventing health systems from becoming overwhelmed. As of today, India has conducted a total of 1,191,946 tests for the disease.