New GeneXpert testing machines to give Fiji’s COVID screening efforts a boost


The COVID pandemic has created many challenges to Pacific health systems, among these is increasing demand for expanding for testing. Although testing facilities do exist in the Pacific, most were designed to screen primarily for TB. As a result, there is pressing need to repurpose these facilities or add new capacity to meet the demands COVID has created.

Today, the Pacific Community (SPC), with funding provided by the European Union was able to procure and deliver 4 Cepheid GeneXpert IV analysers to Government of Fiji. This equipment has arrived at a critical time when testing demand has rising sharply across the Pacific nation.

The Cepheid GeneXpert IV analyser is an advanced screening machine able to run up to 4 tests at any given 45-minute interval with the number of samples tested ranging from 4 with single sample to 16 pooled specimens. The addition of 4 of these machines will make an immediate impact on Fiji’s COVID screening efforts.

SPC recognizes the extraordinary efforts and hard work of Fiji’s Ministry of Health staff as well as frontline workers across the country in their tireless efforts over last year under the strong leadership of the Honourable Minister and Permanent Secretary. SPC and will remain available to provide support with equipment purchase, technical advice in areas such as laboratory, surveillance, clinical services, IPC, and risk communications.

SPC reaffirms its commitment to support Fiji in partnership with WHO, UNICEF and other JIMT members. The Cepheid GeneXpert IV analysers will be deployed immediately and will be fully operation once set up.

Public Health