Lack of public policy for self-tests is an elitist measure, says Luana Araújo

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The infectologist and epidemiologist Luana Araújo said, this Friday (28), in an interview with CNN, that the adoption of self-tests for the detection of Covid-19 in the country will be an elitist measure, due to the lack of a public policy for its distribution by the Ministry of Health.

The National Health Surveillance Agency (Anvisa) also authorized this Friday the marketing of tests in pharmacies and health establishments.

“Although we have the tool available, I think that’s what Anvisa tried to say back then, unfortunately we continue to make the same mistake. You’re not of much use to her. It will serve a very restricted population, and this is very difficult to be placed as a public health policy and be based on something in that sense. It will be elitist, and besides, you need to count on the common sense of those who are doing it, who will take the positive test into account and will isolate themselves”, declares Luana Araújo.

Health Minister Marcelo Queiroga declared on January 10 that it would be difficult to implement a public policy for self-tests. “Without having these answers regarding effectiveness and the cost of effectiveness, this policy may not have the result we want. This does not mean that the test cannot be sold in pharmacies so that the population can acquire and perform the test. It is very possible that society can have this access, private networks have also carried out tests”, he said at the time.

The exams, which can be done at home, allow monitoring the conditions of the disease. However, the tests are not conclusive for the diagnosis according to Anvisa.

If the result is positive, the person should look for a health unit so that a professional can carry out the confirmation, notify the authorities and receive the necessary guidance.

“We have test supply failures, this new tool might work to address that, we have a major surveillance failure, you do the test, but you don’t notify this test”, explains Luana

“The manufacturing company can voluntarily create a service to record the results, but this is not integrated with the national surveillance service. If you have a positive test, this is not diagnostic. You have to go to a health center, retake the test, so that the notification can be made there. If you have a false negative, there is no guidance in this regard”, continues the doctor.

(*With information from Lucas Rocha, from CNN)

Reference: CNN Brasil

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