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Covid rapid test study completed

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Health minister Mam Bun Heng attends a workshop to share the results of research on attitudes to Covid-19 rapid antigen tests on November 2. PHOTO SUPPLIED

Covid rapid test study completed

A research project on the use of Covid-19 rapid tests among Cambodians in Phnom Penh conducted by the University of Health Sciences found that 30 per cent of people in Phnom Penh underwent Covid-19 rapid antigen testing in the past six months.

According to a November 2 press release from the Ministry of Health, the study was conducted by researchers from the University of Health Sciences of Cambodia and the University of New South Wales, Australia. The report provided a better understanding of the use of Covid-19 rapid tests.

280 people living with HIV – and 280 others – who had used rapid tests in the past six months, were invited to participate in quantitative surveys.

Minister of Health and chairman of the board of the health sciences university Mam Bun Heng spoke at a November 2 workshop to share the results of the report.

“The results of this study are important. They will help the health ministry to develop strategies to promote the use of rapid tests,” he said.

The study found that only 20 per cent of the participants who bought the tests felt that they were cheap, with 40-50 per cent of the participants obtaining tests from their workplaces for free.

“Cheaper prices and recommendations from pharmacists were the main factors that motivated people to choose a Covid-19 rapid antigen test, according to the answers provided by our study participants,” it said.

Bun Heng pointed out that this is a clear indicator of the government’s victory in the fight against Covid-19, and testament to the effective measures which allowed it to reopen the Kingdom.

“Cambodia has ranked fourth in the Nikkei’s Covid-19 recovery index for the last four consecutive months. We are grateful to be one of the ten best recovering countries in the world,” he said.

In addition to conducting research on the use of the Covid-19 rapid test among Cambodians, the university also participated in two other activities. They evaluated the external quality of the Quality Control / Quality Assurance tests and the use of Oxford Nanopore technology for sequencing to SARS-CoV-2 – and other viruses – in collaboration with scientists and laboratory technicians from the Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity of Australia.

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