About Us

What We Do

effect:hope (The Leprosy Mission Canada) is a Christian mission that connects like-minded Canadians to people suffering in isolation from debilitating neglected tropical diseases like leprosy, lymphatic filariasis, Buruli ulcer and STH. Through this connection, supporters are able to bring the cure and ongoing care to people struggling with disability and stigma. effect:hope’s work restores those affected to a welcome place in their community.  

effect:hope works to end these diseases of poverty based on four goals:

Activate and equip communities

Building inclusive and supportive communities is an important aspect of our overseas programs. We equip people with the skills needed to earn a livelihood, and also help them form support groups so they can help one another even after the program ends. With adequate follow-ups, and long-term access to services and support from field workers, effect:hope helps people thrive in their communities.

Strengthen health systems

Although we have treatments for diseases such as leprosy or hookworm, many endemic communities are unable to access those treatments. We work to strengthen health systems so they can handle the needs of each community they serve. Integrating disease management methods into a comprehensive strategy is one of the main outcomes of our health systems strengthening work.

Innovate through research

There is a lot we don’t know about leprosy and other neglected tropical diseases. For example, although we are able to provide the cure for leprosy in Multi-Drug Therapy, we want to be proactive and prevent the disease from occurring in the first place. By involving local communities, NGOs, and governments, we are able to get a better representation of how a disease affects an entire region.

We have also partnered up with The Mission to End Leprosy to form a new research initiative named R2STOP (Research to STOP transmission of neglected tropical diseases). Our first agenda is focused on leprosy, because we want to eliminate the disease once and for all.

Ensure the people we serve are treated as equals

Advocacy is critical to helping neglected people thrive in their communities. We work with governments to develop better policies and laws to help achieve this, such as removing discriminatory laws against people with leprosy. We involve the communities in our advocacy efforts to ensure we keep their best interests in mind. People affected by NTDs are also educated about their rights and supported to voice their concerns with those in power.

For 127 years we have partnered with families and their communities to transform the lives of people suffering from leprosy and other diseases of poverty. We do this by curing those who are sick, providing disability support, and restoration to their community.

Our Purpose

We place the people we serve at the center of all our work. We strive to effect important changes in their lives, so that people affected by diseases and their communities:

  1. Care for and accept each other
  2. Demand and access timely government health services and opportunities to improve their lives
  3. Contribute to society so leprosy and other diseases of poverty are no longer an issue
  4. Collaboration with families, communities, local and international partners, and governments

Our end goal is to ensure that the people we serve experience:

  • Improved health
  • Improved confidence and influence
  • Improved inclusion and relationships
  • Improved livelihoods
  • Improved quality of life

 

Our Mission

effect:hope is a non-profit organization that works to free people from leprosy and other Neglected Tropical Diseases that isolate and impoverish.

Our Vision 

No person neglected – No community too far.

Our Values

As followers of Christ:
We are called to love and to seek restoration
We are champions of community and collaboration
We demonstrate honesty and integrity
We are committed to high impact and effectiveness

Where We Work

For over 125 years, we've been serving people suffering from leprosy and other diseases of poverty. Click on any of the map markers below to learn more about the regions where effect:hope works.


India

India is a rapidly growing country with a booming economy. However, there are many people who are falling through the cracks of its developing healthcare system.

Leprosy in India:

In certain areas of India, the leprosy rates are still some of the highest in the world. Government hospitals are not always able to provide rapid leprosy services for affected people. Through our collaboration with The Leprosy Mission Trust India, we offer specialized treatment for people affected by leprosy.

Lymphatic filariasis (LF), another neglected tropical disease, is also found in some parts of India. These neglected diseases thrive among the poor, who live in crowded urban areas, and without adequate sanitation.

Currently, India is making great strides establishing itself as a leader in leprosy research through its state of the art laboratory, where collaborating and training for emerging researchers occur.

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Bangladesh

Bangladesh is a rapidly developing country, where many people are moving into cities. In cities like Dhaka, the gap between the rich and the poor is wide. Many people we serve live on less than $1 per day.

Leprosy in Bangladesh:

Regions including Dhaka, Nilphamari, and Gaibandha-Jaypurhat in Bangladesh continue to have many new leprosy cases every year. People affected by leprosy mostly live in urban slums and remote areas. In those places, people have limited access to clean water and other basic needs. People with leprosy-related disabilities may also have difficulty accessing public relief services directly. Currently, effect:hope supports partners in Bangladesh who are working with the government of Bangladesh to improve leprosy care services through government health units throughout the country.

In NorthWest Bangladesh, people with disability from leprosy and LF are provided with economic support through investment in an income generating activity and skills training. This allows people affected by leprosy and LF and their families to raise their income level out of poverty and have better quality of life. Leprosy Field Research continues to conduct clinical research while providing important treatment and health services for people with leprosy.

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Kenya

Preschool children in Kenya struggle to receive the nutrition their bodies need. This struggle is made worse by parasites like hookworms, which deprive the children of the little nutrients they do receive. Through the Every Child Thrives program, children receive the deworming treatment for these parasites, along with Vitamin A, giving them the boost they need to grow up healthy.

Health workers and parents are involved in/ responsible for providing these treatments every 6 months and Every Child Thrives is promoting equal access for both girls and boys to this service and getting both parents involved in their child’s health to reduce barriers to this access.

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DRC

In the Kasai region of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), many villages are endemic for leprosy, Buruli ulcer and lymphatic filariasis. Because of limited awareness about these diseases, many cases are found too late, leaving affected individuals with disabilities.

With a heavy reliance on agricultural activities for survival, families affected by leprosy suffer from extreme poverty, often because of leprosy-associated disabilities that restrict farming activities. Their children are often not enrolled in school, leaving very few choices for their futures. Misconceptions about leprosy in these communities lead to those living with the disease to be excluded by others.

An integrated Case Management of NTDs project is conducted in the region to prevent disabilities and address consequences associated to Leprosy and other disabling NTDs.

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Nigeria

Nigeria carries one of the highest burdens of leprosy and other neglected tropical diseases in Africa. Misconceptions surrounding leprosy lead to late diagnosis, and affected people often develop disabilities as a result. People with leprosy often face discrimination, job loss, abuse, and eviction.

Our work in Nigeria strived to improve the quality of life for people affected by leprosy. This project has now reached the end of its working period. We are now reviewing the results of this project and the lessons we learned. The new project will help strengthen the health system in Kwara State by adopting an integrated approach to control neglected tropical diseases. It will also work with relevant government programs and stakeholders with a common mission for a greater impact.

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Côte d’Ivoire

Every Child Thrives 

Preschool children struggle to receive the nutrition their bodies need. This struggle is made worse by parasites like hookworms, which deprive children of essential nutrients. Through the Every Child Thrives program, girls and boys receive deworming treatment and Vitamin A supplements, giving them the boost they need to grow up healthy.

Health workers provide treatments every 6 months, ensuring equal access for both girls and boys. Our efforts also encourage both parents to get involved in their child’s health to break down barriers and advocate for children's rights.

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Liberia

Liberia is one of the poorest countries in the world with limited access and availability of affordable treatment for neglected tropical diseases. This leads to increased transmission, increased disability, increased stigma and catastrophic economic consequences for affected people and their families.

Together with our partners, we launched the first program globally to integrate all aspects of diagnosis and curative treatment for neglected tropical diseases within the health system. At the program's core is the belief that, if you can equip every community volunteer and healthcare worker with the basic knowledge to identify and refer or treat a person with a neglected tropical disease at their closest health facility, you break down critical barriers to care. The initial pilot is taking place in 5 out of 15 counties and is due to scale up to the remaining counties in 2021.

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Thank you for all you do to help vulnerable people struggling with neglected tropical diseases like leprosy.

2019 Annual Report

2018 Annual Report

2017 Annual Report

Board of Directors

effect:hope’s Board of Directors are a multi-disciplinary group of volunteers who are passionate about healing families and communities throughout the world. They oversee and ensure that effect:hope's activities conform to the stated financial, ethical and Christian values.

The members are:

Mr. Peter Hogg,  Board Chair
Mr Ravi Chandran – Vice Chair
Mr. David Weind, Secretary-Treasurer
Ms. Dianne Cabral 
Mr. John Humphreys
Mr. Winston Miller 
Mrs. Carol Morris
Dr.  Alison Krentel
Dr. Ron Davidson

Leadership Team

Kim Evans, Chief Executive Officer
Maneesh Phillip, Director of International Programs
Anjay Nirula, Director of Marketing
Kenneth Wong, Senior Manager of Finance and Operations 
Deb Hopper, Senior Manager of Development 


Public Speaking Opportunities

Many effect:hope staff members have been in the field and have first-hand experience working with those affected by neglected tropical diseases like leprosy, Buruli ulcer, or Lymphatic Filariasis. We would be pleased to come and speak to your group about our work. Please send your request for a speaking engagement by e-mail to aonley@effecthope.org or fill out the form. 

FAQs about Effect:Hope and Our Work

You can read about the various neglected tropical diseases we treat through our programs at https://effecthope.org/ntds.

There are several ways you can help:

1) Pray
These are uncertain times for us all globally. We are asking for prayers for this pandemic to end quickly and for those infected to recover to full health. Please also ask for protection for those living with compromised immune systems like those affected by neglected tropical disease, front-line health care workers, grocery store workers, politician and country leaders, and all those who are working tirelessly to keep us safe. 

Prayers are also needed for the recovery after the pandemic. Charities especially will be greatly affected financially so please pray that they will be able to survive the coming months of lower donations. There are thousands of small charities that add tremendous good to the world that will be at risk of closing down. 

2) Donate
You can help by supporting our ongoing work, so we can reach more people affected by neglected tropical diseases like leprosy around the world. Our global projects include initiatives like providing clean water solutions and constructing sanitary hand washing stations, as well as distributing vital supplies and creating access to critical health services to help save lives and to help ensure that people stay safe and protected. This includes advocating for important policy changes and helping to strengthen national health systems. 

effect:hope’s work has never been as needed as it is today. As we navigate this situation, we are grateful for the support of all our dedicated donors whose contributions allow us to continue doing our important work in vulnerable communities. If you can further contribute to our efforts to help people living with a neglected tropical disease, please do so at effecthope.org/donate

3) Call your local member of parliament (MP) or Members of Legislative Assembly (MLA) and encourage them to help Canadian charities. 

4) Continue to support small local charities in your area.

5) Please take care of yourself and your family and each other during this time. Maintain social distance (stay at least hockey stick apart), wash your hands and clean surfaces often.

In these difficult times it's easy to get scared and anxious. With the proliferation of social media there are much incorrect information being shared. Only trust information from credible health agencies like the following: 

Yes. We are actually working more effectively than ever in some areas where we work, and your donations are going even further than ever.  So much so that some of our patients have become leaders of positive change in their communities.

Yes! In fact, we are working actively towards leprosy elimination. That means zero people diagnosed with leprosy each year. That’s called “the interruption of transmission.”

Yes! While our name is changing, our promise stays the same. Through us, you will continue to free those affected by leprosy from disease, isolation and stigma.

Yes! In fact, we feel that the new name effect:hope emphasizes the people who are affected by leprosy rather than emphasizing a disease, which is a more positive and Christ-like emphasis.

No.  We are officially still registered as: “The Leprosy Mission Canada” but will be communicating with you as “effect:hope”. This shifts the emphasis from a disease to people, which we believe is a more positive message.

Please make cheques payable to effect:hope. Cheques written out to The Leprosy Mission Canada are still valid, as this name will remain valid on cheques since we are not going through a legal name change.

We adopted the name effect:hope for two reasons:

  1. effect:hope conveys the great news that each one of us can be an agent of hope; and it’s an invitation to each one of us to be that agent. We are still the same organization and we are dedicated to eliminating leprosy, curing people affected by leprosy and similar conditions and instilling hope. We stand by people within their own community – effecting positive, lasting change for the better.
  2. Recently the international Leprosy Mission network created a new structure that would have put us offside with Canada’s Income Tax Act. Had we signed on to the new structure, we would not have been able to issue you a tax receipt. We continue to be in close partnership with our Leprosy Mission partners around the world. In fact, we now engage even more directly with our partners overseas and the people they serve. In order to avoid confusion we felt that we needed a name change.

You may give by:

  • pre-authorized giving from your bank account (monthly withdrawals on the 1st or the 15th of the month, and you will need to send us a void cheque)
  • credit card (one-time gifts any time or monthly automatic charges on 1st or the 15th of the month)
  • cheque or money order (please do not send cash through the mail)

Giving by monthly withdrawals is the most cost effective method of donating, as it allows us to minimize our administration costs. This means more of the funds raised can be used to help people affected by leprosy.

We also offer an online giving option through our website. Visit our donation page to donate now.

We accept donations by PayPal through CanadaHelps.

Yes. If you are giving a gift online, please fill out the Tribute Information portion of the online donation form. Or, make a note of it when you mail in your donation. If you would like us to send an acknowledgment card to the family if you are donating in memory of someone, please include their name and address.

If you are donating online, you can specify the area where you want your donation to go on our donation page.

Yes. If you are giving a gift online, please fill out the Tribute Information portion of the online donation form. Or, make a note of it when you mail in your donation. If you would like us to send an acknowledgment card to the family if you are donating in memory of someone, please include their name and address.

If you are donating online, you can specify the area where you want your donation to go on our donation page.

No, we are not a sponsorship organization. Thanks to the fact that a cure for leprosy was developed over 20 years ago, we can spend as little as 6 months to 2 years to cure with a person who has leprosy, not the decade or two that a sponsorship organization spends with a child.

However, if you sign up for an ongoing monthly pledge to cure someone from leprosy, we will send you pictures and stories of people who have been helped by the generosity of Canadians like you. Our website features some stories as well. Read our blog for some stories of children and adults who have already been cured.

Thankfully, the children on our TV spots have already been cured – because of a generous person like you. If you would like to make a donation especially for children with leprosy, we will be happy do that. If so, when you mail in your donation, please write a note saying that you want to support children specifically.

$99 helps one person receive an early diagnosis and the free medicine to stop the spread of leprosy in their body. Catching leprosy early prevents a life lived with disability, stigma and isolation. Your gift trains and equips health workers and enables them to provide the medication, so that more people affected by leprosy get this vital early intervention. It is a great opportunity to reduce suffering.

The cost to bring the cure and necessary after treatment care, is about $396 a year, or $33 a month.

Based on the figures shown in our 2014 Annual Report, The Leprosy Mission Canada’s fundraising costs fell in the “Generally Acceptable” range as defined by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). The Promotions costs are under 25% of all revenue that is raised directly due to money spent on fundraising.

Please read our annual report for more information about our impact around the world.

The reason we mail letters so regularly is that it is still our most positive and cost-effective way of raising support for people affected by leprosy.

Email Cindy at cquinn@effecthope.org and she’ll send you instructions and the pattern. Thank you sharing your compassion for children and families in this way.

We don't sell the dolls, we give you one as a reminder of the person you have cured of leprosy. The early diagnosis and cure for 1 person is $99 or you can sign up to be a monthly donor at $16.50/month (cures 2 people/year) or $33/month (cures 4 people/year). You can make your selection here: https://effecthope.org/donate/ and then forward the confirmation email with your mailing address to Andrea at aonley@effecthope.org. One doll will be given to a child affected by leprosy or another disease and a second doll will be sent to you as a reminder of the hope you’ve given.

effect:hope sells 25-pound bags of stamps to stamp dealers, and we also sell stamp collections at auction sales. If you are going to send stamps to us, please make sure they are trimmed from the envelopes with about ¼ inch of paper surrounding the stamp. More information about stamps can be found here.

There are many reasons why countries still are not financially or politically able to manage these diseases on their own. Some countries do not have a stable political system, universal health care, gender equality and religious freedoms. With the lack of political stability it is difficult to build public policy and strengthen health care systems when a leader worries about being overthrown the next month or year or there is a constant war raging.

Sometimes a major outbreak or disease like Ebola can cripple entire countries, or devastating natural disasters such as floods, earthquakes, typhoons or tsunamis make life a daily struggle. Access to health care and other services in remote villages can also be challenging, with some only accessible by foot or bicycle. This is why our programs are designed to not only train local health care workers in the communities but to empower and train a member of each community (or group of communities) to diagnose diseases, basic treatment methods, and get people with suspected disease to the local health clinic.

Another important aspect of our work is advocating local and national governments to strengthen health care systems provide people with leprosy and other diseases equal rights and opportunities as the rest of the population. We also work at a community level to break down stigma and reintegrate cured leprosy patients back into communities. For more details on our programs visit: https://effecthope.org/get-involved.

In 2000, the WHO made an announcement that leprosy had been eliminated as a public health issue, with the global prevalence finally falling below one case per 10,000 people. Unfortunately, this was based on countries self-reporting the incidences of disease. As the people most often affected live in ultra poverty and in remote villages, they are often not counted and with spotty health care in many countries, leprosy is often misdiagnosed. As a result of countries declaring themselves “leprosy free” much of the national and international funding was moved to other projects, and this allowed the disease an opportunity to fester and grow on a national scale.

Also, while there is a drug treatment for leprosy, the question of its transmission is still unknown. Until we can identify the cause and method of transmission, we cannot fully eliminate this disease.

The term “leper” is not one we use today and is considered a derogatory slur. We are committed to using language that promotes dignity, respect, and recognises a person as an individual separate from the disease, focusing on their qualities rather than disabilities.

Although rare, there are an estimated two to 10 cases diagnosed in Canada each year. Most cases are among people who have come to Canada from countries where leprosy has a greater foothold, such as India or Bangladesh (source: CTV news). Many people may not realize they carry the infection, as it can take years for symptoms such as skin lesions to appear.

Canada also used to have two colonies for people with leprosy, one in British Columbia and the other in New Brunswick (read more here).

Leprosy can be cured with multi-drug therapy (MDT) and a combination of three antibiotics: rifampin, clofazimine and dapsone. Treatment can take from six months to a year, sometimes longer. People are no longer contagious after about one week of MDT.

No, approximately 95% of people are believed to have a natural immunity to leprosy. And once a person with leprosy begins treatment (Multi-Drug Therapy) the medicine kills the bacteria within a few days. Within one week of starting the medicine, there is no risk of spreading the disease to anyone else.

Early signs include discoloured patches on the skin that may be slightly red, darker or lighter than normal. Often they appear on the arms, legs or back. Sometimes the only sign may be numbness in a finger or toe. When nerve trunks in the arm are affected, part of the hand becomes numb and small muscles become paralyzed, leading to curling of the fingers and thumb. When leprosy attacks nerves in the legs, it interrupts communication of sensation in the feet.

The feet can then be damaged by untended wounds and infection. If the facial nerve is affected, a person loses the blinking reflex of the eye, which can eventually lead to dryness, ulceration and blindness. Bacteria entering the mucous lining of the nose can lead to internal damage and scarring which in time causes the nose to collapse. Untreated, leprosy can cause permanent deformity, crippling and blindness.

No. The bacteria attack nerve endings and destroy the body’s ability to feel pain and injury. Without feeling pain, people injure themselves and the injuries can become infected, resulting in tissue loss. Fingers and toes become shortened and deformed as the cartilage is absorbed into the body. Repeated injury and infection of numb areas in the fingers or toes can cause the bones to shorten. The tissues around them shrink, making them short.

The medical name for leprosy is Hansen’s disease. Norwegian doctor Armauer Hansen was the first to view the bacillus under a microscope in 1873.

A germ, or bacillus, called Mycobacterium leprae (often called M. leprae for short).

Yes, we do. Our staff would love to share with your church or organization. Please contact Andrea Onley at aonley@effecthope.org to request a speaker.

effect:hope works in nine countries: India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Nigeria, Cote D’Ivoire, Liberia, Ghana, Kenya and Democratic Republic of the Congo, and conducts transmission research in Canada and the USA. Visit our Programs page to learn more about our work around the world.

No, we don’t believe organizations should ever force or coerce others into a belief system in order to receive aid or treatment. This type of care with strings attached is inauthentic and poorly reflects Christian character. Rather, we accept people of all faiths into our programs and follow Christ’s example of unconditional love. This means caring for the forgotten, lost, sick, and needy, regardless of their race, faith, sexual orientation or status.

Our staff are Christians from various denominations who are inspired by Jesus to serve people affected by leprosy and other neglected tropical diseases around the world. Following Jesus’ example, we serve anyone in need, regardless of their race, faith, sexual orientation, or status.

Yes, we issue tax receipts for all tax-creditable donations from individuals. For single gifts, the normal procedure is to issue receipts as soon as possible after a donation is received.  For monthly gifts, we issue annual receipts at the beginning of February for all donations in the previous year.

For more information about donation receipts for income tax purposes and how to be an informed donor, please go to www.cra.gc.ca/donors.

Yes, we are. Our charitable registration number is 11924 1990 RR0001.

We have been working in Canada since 1892, and internationally since 1876. In 2014, we adopted the name effect:hope.

effect:hope (The Leprosy Mission Canada) is a member of the Canadian Council of Christian Charities. Visit the CCCC website for more information about the standards that we adhere to.

Markham

Our global partners are well-positioned and working hard to stop the COVID-19 virus from spreading to places it has yet to reach by collaborating with community members, national governments and global bodies like the World Health Organization.

We are closely monitoring the impact on our operations and are actively assessing how we can adapt, should we need to, while intensifying our proactive measures.


We are very concerned how marginalized communities and groups can cope with the wide-ranging health, social and economic impacts of this crisis. Those living in poverty with a neglected tropical disease like leprosy, are most at risk of rights infringements and violations, even more so in times of crises.  

Currently our most urgent concerns are:

  • Getting medicine to patients in a timely manner. Leprosy patients undergoing treatment need regular access to medicine anywhere from six months to two years depending on the severity of their disease in order to be fully cured.
  • A shortage of blood in our program countries. We recently lost a patient with leprosy who also had severe anemia. The patient could have survived with even one unit of blood.
  • There is also a lack of Personal Protective Equipment for healthcare providers in our program countries.
  • In the case of lockdown those living with a disability related to a neglect topical disease can become even more isolated and not have access to food or water. Starvation and dehydration are a major concern.
  • The overall ability for health system infrastructure to continue to operate with such high demand. With the sudden increase in COVID-19 patients, the greater need for personal protective equipment, and limited number of heath care professionals, we are fearful it will take years for the health systems in developing countries to recover.

To limit the potential impact of exposure to COVID-19 and to protect the health, safety and well-being of all employees, effect:hope has decided to implement a work-from-home policy. We have also paused all in-person fundraising and international travel to help support public health efforts of containment and minimize the spread of COVID-19 in communities.

As the situation evolves, we are using Health Canada and the World Health Organization as our trusted sources of information.

Conducting a diagnostic test is the only way to know if someone has COVID-19. The best way to conduct these tests is by using a machine that uses the polymerase chain reaction, or PCR, method.  PCR requires dedicated equipment and trained technicians.

How does PCR work?

Samples collected from the back of the nose or mouth or deep inside the lungs are used for testing. PCR testing can detect even the smallest amounts of viral genetic materials by duplicating it many times through a complex lab process called amplification. A fluorescent signal is created when amplification occurs, and once the signal reaches a threshold, the test result is considered positive. If no viral sequence is present, amplification will not occur, resulting in a negative result.

Samples collected from the back of the nose or mouth or deep inside the lungs are used for testing. PCR testing can detect even the smallest amounts of viral genetic materials by duplicating it many times through a complex lab process called amplification. A fluorescent signal is created when amplification occurs, and once the signal reaches a threshold, the test result is considered positive. If no viral sequence is present, amplification will not occur, resulting in a negative result.

Conducting a diagnostic test is the only way to know if someone has COVID-19. The best way to conduct these tests is by using a machine that uses the polymerase chain reaction, or PCR, method.  PCR requires dedicated equipment and trained technicians.

The Blue Peter Public Health and Research Centre (BPHRC) located in Hyderabad, India, first opened its doors in 1999. It conducts research and testing to improve the lives of those affected by neglected tropical diseases like leprosy and lymphatic filariasis.  

Most clinical laboratories in countries like India are not certified to use PCR technology for COVID-19 testing. Thankfully BPHRC has a functional Biological Safety Level 3 laboratory (required for Corona Virus testing). BPHRC lab-technicians, microbiologists, epidemiologists and other scientists have significant research and front line work experience within high infection control environments. The centre has a country-wide network for specimen collection points as well as strong and reliable partnerships with local health systems.

Additionally, we have access to an established and trusted network of key effect:hope partners who can assist with a quick and efficient roll-out of the testing.