Embargo to 5am
Wednesday 25 August 2021
Waipareira partners COVID-19 saliva testing company to protect vulnerable communities
Whānau Waipareira and Rako Science, a Kiwi-owned company, who has developed a cost effective and diagnostically validated saliva test – have joined forces to expedite Covid-19 testing results and help protect vulnerable communities.
Waipareira CEO John Tamihere last week signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Rako Science following an extensive due diligence period.
The decision to go with Rako Science’s diagnostically validated and affordable saliva testing model was a great fit for Waipareira.
“We are rolling out Rako’s highly accurate saliva test at our community testing centre for asymptomatic people because it is the best test and has better chain of custody in its collection systems,” Tamihere said.
“Our people don’t like the invasive nasal swab and will be much happier to give a saliva sample, which means they are more likely to come forward and be tested.
“Once the Ministry of Health agreed in July that the Rako Science saliva test was at least as accurate as nasopharyngeal swab tests, we decided it would be unethical not to offer it to our people because of its non-invasive nature.
“This strengthens us to better serve our communities. We could also make this a mobile service to meet the demands of the community, not the demands of bureaucrats and those who have medicalised and monetarised this pandemic.
”Once we have completed a pilot, this Saliva Testing Service, will run alongside and complement our Vaccination and Nasal Swabbing centres.”
The Rako Science saliva test is the only diagnostically validated saliva test that meets the ISO15189 standard for medical tests that is available in New Zealand. Rako Science’s diagnostic validation study found 96.6% diagnostic sensitivity and 98.6% specificity.
The Rako Science COVID-19 PCR saliva test was developed by the University of Illinois and it has been licensed to hundreds of laboratories, universities, schools and businesses across the United States.
Rako Science has completed thousands of tests in New Zealand since January 2021 including all New Zealand Olympic and Paralympic athletes and support team before departure to Tokyo, as well as film production companies and some of New Zealand’s largest businesses including Fisher & Paykel Healthcare and Genesis Energy.
Dr Stephen Grice said the partnership with Waipareira aligns with Rako Science’s values of increasing accessibility and affordability of world-class science and technology for all people in New Zealand.
“Waipareira have the connections to the communities and all ethnicities, they have the experience and the talent to deploy our saliva test,” Dr Grice said.
For more information contact firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 0280007546
Rako Science Q&A
Q: What type of test is the Rako Science test?
A: The Rako Science saliva test is an RT-qPCR test, which is a nucleic acid amplification technique.
Q: What steps have been taken to safeguard against infection and cross contamination at collection sites?
A: Health and safety standard operating procedures are in place for infection control and are reviewed by the Rako Science team. Hand sanitisation points are provided. The collection site is designed so that no one will touch your sample.
Q: Is this test available for people who are unwell or who have Covid-19 symptoms?
A: The saliva test is only for people without cold, flu, or COVID-19 symptoms. People displaying symptoms will not be tested and will be directed to seek appropriate professional medical attention.
Q: What if the result is positive for COVID-19?
A: COVID-19 is a notifiable disease and therefore once a positive result is confirmed in the laboratory, the Rako Science team will immediately advise the local Medical Officer of Health to ensure you get the health support you require as soon as possible.