St Helena Receives BioFire Diagnostic System

On Saturday 1 April 2023 the St Helena Pathology Department received a Biofire Film Array system, kindly donated by the United Kingdom Health Security Agency (UKHSA).

This technology represents a game changer in rapid infectious disease diagnostics and is particularly suited for small capacity remote laboratories like St Helena. The system provides novel diagnostic tests for likely pathogens in body system infections (such as respiratory, enteric and neurological).

Rapid test results enable precise diagnosis and appropriate treatment of patients. These quick turnaround times on a broad menu of pathogens will help the clinician make vital decisions regarding admission, isolation, additional testing and treatment.

Provision of this Biofire syndromic testing will enhance patient health care benefits and represents a sustainable change in diagnostics, treatment, surveillance and protection from infectious disease threats for the entire community.

On receipt of the Biofire Film Array system, Medical Laboratory Scientist Wiseman Mbatha, said:

“The Health Directorate would like to express their gratitude to UKHSA for providing this invaluable piece of equipment. This instrument/machine can quickly and accurately detect, amongst other things, a wide range of serious viruses and bacteria. Having this available to use in St Helena will significantly improve our capacity to rapidly diagnose illnesses, meaning patients can get the right treatment more quickly.”

Minister for Health and Social Care, Martin Henry, added:

“Health remains an area of important focus for this Government and we are delighted to be able to take delivery of this diagnostic equipment. Improving our ability to diagnose illness early will allow us to better target care, and do so more quickly than we could before. We thank the UK Government for their ongoing support in the Island’s health transformation project, which we expect to have far reaching and long-term positive impacts for the community.”

St Helena Government Communications Hub

Telephone: 22470