The Coronavirus pandemic has infected over 20,000 people in Africa with almost 2,000 losing their lives to the virus. Millions have lost their source of livelihood across the continent as many go hungry. Experts say mass testing is the key to flattening the curves and opening economies.
Senegal responded to the call to produce test kits in Africa. Researchers in the country this week, have began validation trials on a home-produced COVID-19 diagnostic test that can be done at home and produce results within 10 minutes.
Researchers claim the test kits will cost as low as $1 and could be delivered across Africa by June if the validation testing meets world standards. The tests will be manufactured in the UK and Senegal.
The team of researchers in Dakar, Senegal had previously developed vaccines for Dengue fever and Yellow fever and are currently working on the Diagnostic test prototype in partnership with a British biotech company called Mologic.
The Dakar site, where manufacturing will be done can produced up to 4 million tests annually. The team is also in talks to open manufacturing sides across the continents.
“When COVID-19 hit, we knew from the beginning that Africa would be disproportionally affected. With a test like this, you can detect [the virus] very quickly on any part of the continent and then avoid transmission,” Medical Director of Mologic, Joe Fitchett told Aljazeera.