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WHO global consultation on The use of trained dogs for screening COVID-19 cases

March 7, 2021
WHO will host a global consultation on Monday, 8 March 2021 from 12:00 – 14:40 Central European Time (CET) on The use of trained dogs for screening COVID-19 cases, with the following objectives: To review what is known about the screening capacity of trained dogs and how the use of dogs may complement existing tools and programs to detect COVID cases. To learn more about practical methods for operationalising dog screening programs and outline known challenges for the use of this approach. To share experiences and lessons garnered from countries already implementing dog screening programs. To identify next steps which could support countries to efficiently operationalize the use of dogs screening programs when needed. Background: Reports on the capacity of trained dogs to detect specific odours associated with COVID-19 infection are prompting a rapid increase in the number of countries seeking to deploy dogs for COVID-19 screening during mass gatherings and other settings. While dogs have shown their capacity to detect other infectious and non-infectious pathologies, the application to COVID-19 may complement currently available diagnostic tools and provide multiple applications to public health. The use of dogs for initial screening could have several advantages: the approach is non-invasive, results are obtainable in real time, no close contact is required with infectious samples, costs are low, and large numbers of individuals can be screened quickly. Despite these clear advantages, limits and challenges in operationalizing dogs for this important task do exist and will be explored during the consultation. The proposed agenda will be provided in advance. Please register on the link below to receive your connection details. Invitation sent by: Neddy MAFUNGA on behalf of the R&D Blueprint Secretariat.

Attached documents