High standard of accuracy
• The saliva testing is available with effect from today ( November 22) at all DHA facilities and DHA-run COVID-19 screening centres
• Price is the same, Dh150, as the nasal swab PCR test
• Results from this test take the same time as nasal swab and are available within 24 hours
Healthcare professionals appreciate the simple test
Dr Farida Al Khaja, CEO of DHA’s Clinical Support Services and Nursing Sector said: “For children, in particular, it is highly beneficial as it eliminates the discomfort associated with a nasal swab test, which means children will be at ease and find the test comfortable. This joint effort highlights how research-based data can help develop public health policies to provide the highest-standards of medical care to the population.”
Dr Hanan Al Suwaidi, Lead Investigator of the study and Assistant Professor of Family Medicine, College of Medicine, MBRU, added: “This study is an example of translational research that can impact policy and practice and help guide policymakers in decision-making. We are very proud that Dubai’s efforts in fighting this pandemic have been research-driven and evidence-based.”
Dr Al Suwaidi said that other advantages of employing saliva for testing are reducing the risk to frontline health care professionals and reducing the strain on critical health equipment as well as eliminating the need to use preservatives. She added that it is a cost-efficient method of mass testing.
The study, a first in the UAE and the MENA region, and is the world’s largest study of saliva for COVID-19 testing in children to date was a close collaborative effort between MBRU and DHA. The study received approval from the Human Research Ethics Committee at DHA and has been submitted for peer-review publication.