The use of DIY (do it yourself) sampling and telemonitoring model for COVID-19 qPCR testing scale up


The first case of COVID-19 in Nigeria was recorded on February 27, 2020, being an imported case by an Italian expatriate, to the country. Since then, there has been steady increase in the number of cases. However, the number of cases in Nigeria is low in comparison to cases reported by other countries with similar large populations, despite the poor health system prevailing in the country. This has been mainly attributed to the low testing capacity in Nigeria among other factors. Therefore, there is a need for innovative ways to increase the number of persons testing for COVID-19. The aim of the study was to pilot a nasopharyngeal swab self-sample collection model that would help increase COVID-19 testing while ensuring minimal person-to-person contact being experienced at the testing center. 216 participants took part in this study which was carried out at the Nigerian Institute of Medical Research between June and July 2020. Amongst the 216 participants, 174 tested negatives for both self-collected samples and samples collected by Professionals, 30 tested positive for both arms, with discrepancies occurring in 6 samples where the self-collected samples were positive while the ones collected by the professionals were negative. The same occurred in another set of 6 samples with the self-collected samples being negative and the professional—collected sample coming out positive, with a sensitivity of 83.3% and a specificity of 96.7%. The results of the interrater analysis are Kappa = 0.800 (95% CI, 0.690 to 0.910) which implies an outstanding agreement between the two COVID-19 sampling methods. Furthermore, since p< 0.001 Kappa (k) coefficient is statistically different from zero, our findings have shown that self-collected samples can be reliable in the diagnosis of COVID-19.

PLoS ONE 2021; 16(11):e0259398