Trainings for cholera detection in water in Nigeria
Giulia Gaudenzi and Kelly Elimian are currently running a research project focused on assessing the diagnostic accuracy of rapid diagnostic test kits for detecting cholera in environmental water in comparison to standard diagnostic methods, such as culture and PCR, in Nigeria. They have conducted trainings in Nigeria on the use of these test kits.
The project is a VR-link funded project for improving diagnostic capacity for cholera in Nigeria, where the disease is endemic, and the team recently conducted trainings for cholera detection in water in Bauchi and Adamawa States of Nigeria. The trainings were attended by a diverse team comprising State Epidemiologists, Ministry of Health and Ministry of Water Resource staff, Disease Notifications and Surveillance Officers, laboratory scientists, and representatives from NGOs.
Kelly Elimian, originally from Nigeria, was there in person to coordinate the meeting and presented an overview of the study, while Giulia Gaudenzi joined via Zoom to show a video and explain how to collect water samples for cholera diagnostics by rapid diagnostic test kits. PhD student Phuthumani Mlotshwa also gave an online session on standard diagnostics, including the comparative advantages of available culture methods for cholera.
The team provided the participants with testing kits and laboratory supplies, while teaching them how to implement the study protocol in both locations in North-East Nigeria. If successfully used with high diagnostic accuracy (sensitivity and specificity), the rapid test kits can quickly detect cholera from water and hence rapidly prevent cholera outbreaks.
“The training went very well, and the participants found the training useful. Before the training, there was no standard protocol or procedure for detecting cholera in water samples in the Nigerian context, so we are filling a critical gap”, says Kelly Elimian.