UP alumni, Apl.de.Ap donate COVID-19 saliva test kits for UP PGH students

Apl.de.Ap  UP alumni
The donation efforts were spearheaded by UP alumnus and entrepreneur Yobie Benjamin, UPAASF past president and Apl.de.ap Foundation International Director Sonia Delen, and Grammy award-winning rap artist and founding member of Black Eyed Peas Apl.de.Ap, among others. Photo from UP.

University of the Philippines Alumni Association of San Francisco, Inc. (UPAASF) and Apl.de.Ap Foundation International (ADAFI) donated over 200,000 COVID-19 saliva collection test kits to the UP-Philippine General Hospital (UP-PGH).

The university said that the donated COVID-19 test kits expected to arrive by January 2022 will be used mainly for the testing of UP students in preparation for their limited face-to-face classes.

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UP-PGH Director Dr. Gerardo Legaspi welcomed the initiative considering that saliva collection is less invasive than nasopharyngeal and oropharyngeal swabbing and would be preferred when sample collections need to be administered regularly.

The UP official noted that aside from being compatible with the RT-PCR testing protocols of the UP-PGH, the collection kits are also ideal for the Philippine climate as they do not require refrigeration.

The saliva test kits were donated to the government-run health facility and COVID-19 referral center through the efforts of UP alumnus and entrepreneur Yobie Benjamin, with the help of Zymo Research Corp. founder and CEO Dr. Larry Jia, and in collaboration with Black Eyed Peas Filipino American rapper Apl.de.Ap and UP alumni and friends. The UPAASF also acknowledged the support of the Philippine Consulate General in San Francisco and the Friends of the UP Foundation in America for the initiative.

The state hospital received the donation of 227,722 Zymo Research DNA/RNA Shield™ Saliva Collection Kits valued at $2.85 million which will provide an alternative to nasal testing in a turnover ceremony held in California, U.S.A. on December 10, 2021.

The donation turnover event was attended by UP President Danilo Concepcion, Benjamin of Zymo Research, Grammy-award-winning Filipino-American musician Apl.de.Ap and ADAFI, UPAASF’s immediate past president and ADAFI director Sonia Delen, UPAASF President Liza Gino, and UP-PGH Director Dr. Gerardo Legaspi via Zoom, among others.

The UP-PGH is the country’s biggest COVID-19 referral hospital and has been at the forefront of innovative responses to the pandemic such as the convalescent plasma transfusion, telekumusta electronic visits, and the country’s first COVID-19 test kit.

SEND CHEERS in the comments below to the friends and alumni of the University of the Philippines (UP) for donating over 200,000 COVID-19 collection test kits to the UP-Philippine General Hospital (UP-PGH) for use of UP students.

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Margo is a voracious reader - some might even say she reads too much for her own good. She majored in BS Psychology and hopes to become a forensic psychologist one day. She’s also an aspiring writer, mental health advocate, and a staunch believer of equality.