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MWC assisting with Samoa’s COVID-19 testing

5 July 2020

The Maurice Wilkins Centre has been working with the Scientific Research Organisation of Samoa (SROS) to obtain relevant equipment and protocols required for COVID-19 testing in Samoa.


Deputy Director Professor Peter Shepherd, who has led MWC-SROS research collaborations, and MWC Associate Investigator Professor Miguel Quiñones-Mateu, one of New Zealand's foremost COVID-19 scientists based at the University of Otago, have teamed up to work with Samoa on its testing capabilities.

"We've responded to requests from our colleagues in Samoa to link them to supply chains for equipment and supplies required for COVID testing, and Miguel has been instrumental also in providing SOPs and training," said Professor Shepherd.

"It's an example of where there's been a benefit outside the basic research collaboration - the contacts that have been built have helped Samoa to obtain some services and capability it didn't have access to before."

Comprehensive testing is recommended as a key element of successful COVID-19 control. While New Zealand has been able to ramp up the number of COVID-19 tests it can perform per day over the past few months, much of this improvement has been reliant on dependable sources of testing kits and reagents, often from overseas.

The MWC has seen a need to work with our Pacific neighbours where possible to ensure they are also well supplied with the tools necessary to keep on top of their containment efforts.

Pictured above: Professor Peter Shepherd (right) and Fiame Leo (left) during a visit to the Scientific Research Organisation of Samoa - Maurice Wilkins Centre joint research centre in Apia, Samoa, last year.