Wuchopperen Health Service Limited will roll out rapid, point of care testing for syphilis on Monday 13 August.
The tests are part of an $8.8 million Australian government initiative to combat the syphilis outbreak in northern Australia.
Wuchopperen CEO Dania Ahwang said she welcomed the new tests.
‘These tests will make a difference to the health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in northern Australia, and may even save lives.’
‘We welcome the Australian Government’s investment in this critically important public health issue.’
‘I urge Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 15 – 39 to come in for a point of care test from Monday onwards. If you are outside that age group and have concerns, standard blood tests are always available.’
Wuchopperen Medical Director Dr Jacqueline Mein said the new tests offered a range of benefits.
‘The finger prick test takes 15 minutes to get a result compared to a standard blood test which can take a number of days to get processed,’ she explained.
‘This means that the client can get their results fast, and any follow up tests or treatment can be booked in on the spot.’
‘Point of care testing reduces the risk of the condition being passed on while clients are waiting for their results, or of not being able to get in touch with a client once the results are in.’
‘In the event of a positive test, it also makes it easier to find out who a client may have passed the condition on to.’
Wuchopperen has received 3000 tests, and will be offering them to all clients aged 15 – 39. The tests are available from the Manoora and Edmonton facilities from Monday 13 August.
Image: Registered Nurse Amon Nteziryayo conducts a rapid test