Flinders University International Centre for Point-of-Care Testing was first designated a World Health Organization Collaborating Centre (WHO CC) for Sexually Transmitted Infections Point-of-Care Testing (Ref AUS-125) in January 2017. The Centre has recently been successfully re-designated as a WHO CC until January 2025.
WHO Collaborating Centres are hosted at institutions such as research institutes, universities or academies, and are designated by the Director-General to carry out activities in support of the Organization's programs. A WHO CC is defined as "an institution designated by the Director-General to form part of an international collaborative network carrying out activities in support of the Organization’s programme at all levels."
The designation both recognises a history of collaboration with WHO and provides a formal framework for future joint activities. It is a time-limited agreement of collaboration between WHO and the designated institution, through which the latter agrees to implement a series of concrete activities specifically developed or designed with WHO.
These centres provide expert advice and technical guidance to WHO on a diverse range of activities such as undertaking research, collecting data, drafting reports, participating in WHO missions, delivering capacity building programs, providing expert consultation, and developing guidelines.
ICPOCT Director, Professor Mark Shephard, serves as an invited member of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Technical Consultation on Point-of-Care Diagnostic Tests for Sexually Transmitted Infections. This Technical Consultation group has undertaken a global landscape analysis of new POC tests for sexually transmitted infections (STIs), as well as those in the pipeline and at the prototype stage. Those tests that showed most promise and which passed WHO prequalification criteria are trialled in an independent multi-country validation study. A point-of-care test for Trichomonas vaginalis has recently been trialled in Australia as part of a multi-country validation study with the International Centre for Point-of-care Testing acting as the Australian coordinating centre for this study.
The activities for the ICPOCT WHO Collaborating Centre for Sexually Transmitted Infections Point-of-Care Testing, for the current redesignation (Jan 2021-Jan 2025) are:
- To support the completion of the multi-country validation of point-of-care testing for sexually transmitted infections.
- To assist with the establishment, management and implementation research for POC testing networks for communicable and non-communicable diseases in WHO Member States and other relevant public health institutions.
- Development of training programs and sessions to build global point-of-care testing workforce capacity.