Home » Nigerian scientists develop cheaper and quicker Covid-19 check kits

Nigerian scientists develop cheaper and quicker Covid-19 check kits

by newsking24

The new check is cheaper than different PCR assessments — the commonest kind of check — and can provide ends in lower than 40 minutes, the Nigerian Institute of Medical Research (NIMR) stated.  

The diagnostic check package will price lower than $25 and samples could be analyzed utilizing a cellular machine that may be operated by low-skilled personnel with minimal coaching, the company stated.  

“We saw the need for more testing outfits, especially one that can give results in a short time because hospitals were refusing to treat patients without Covid-19 results,” Babatunde Salako, the director of NIMR, informed CNN.

“The machine we use is not the common PCR one. We bought the machine and adapted the kit that we developed to work with this machine. It is meant for diagnosis of other pathogens,” Salako stated. 

Although Salako added that the detection price of the NIMR check package is “a bit lower than the PCR, but for the point of care, we believe it is good enough for now.” 

Testing challenges 

Nigeria presently imports PCR check kits from China and has confronted challenges in getting sufficient kits to check most of its inhabitants of 200 million. 

“We thought this one was very important as it will diversify the way testing is done. With this one, all the people in villages and remote areas can be tested by moving the machine to those villages,” Salako, who has headed the company since 2016 stated. 

So far, Nigeria has recorded greater than 59,000 instances of Covid-19 and greater than 1,000 deaths as of October 2, in keeping with figures from the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control.

Health authorities additionally report a declining variety of instances, with remedy facilities, often called isolation facilities, being closed within the nation. 

Nigeria has Africa’s largest inhabitants and has examined solely about 500,000 folks, in keeping with figures from native well being authorities. The PCR check is probably the most widespread and correct diagnostic check

for figuring out whether or not somebody is presently contaminated with coronavirus. 

However, the assessments require specialised provides, costly devices, and the experience of educated lab technicians, which has led to shortages and a testing hole globally. 

While testing in Nigeria is free in state-owned laboratories, there are few such amenities and they’re solely in main cities. And generally, well being officers have needed to switch samples to different states to verify outcomes due to a scarcity of kits. 

“It has always been my concern and passion to see that Nigeria doesn’t have to take samples outside to diagnose. We have scientists who are capable of this if they have the necessary support. That was what led to a visit to Senegal and China, We had collaboration to train our people in pathogen detection, even before Covid started, we went in August and September 2019 to train our scientists.” 

Salako stated the check kits shall be mass-produced as soon as validated by the regulatory authorities — the Nigeria Center for Disease Control and the Medical Laboratory Science Council of Nigeria. “We do not expect the validation to take so long.

“The solely limitation is that we now have to supply extra samples of those kits and purchase some new machines which are key to our work. Once that’s carried out, we will mass produce with authorities help and serve markets in all of Africa.” 

WHO announces Covid-19 rapid tests for low and middle income countries

In a separate announcement this week, the World Health Organization, working with several regional partners and donor agencies, said it had concluded plans to supply 120 million “inexpensive” and high-quality Covid-19 rapid tests to low- and middle-income countries, including in Africa.

The antigen rapid diagnostic tests, the agency said, would sell below $5.

Nigeria will not be the primary nation to supply testing kits on the continent. In March, Senegal’s scientists labored with a UK-based laboratory to create a diagnostic check for coronavirus that may produce check outcomes inside 10 minutes.

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