Ghana has made a breakthrough in COVID-19 testing as scientists at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) in collaboration with Incas Diagnostics, a diagnostic company in Kumasi, have developed a Rapid Diagnostic Test Kit to quickly test COVID-19.
A statement signed by the Public Relations Officer of KNUST, Dr. Daniel Norris Bekoe explained that the creation of the test kit is in line with Ghana’s objective to fight against coronavirus. They are working towards “containing the spread of the virus, inspiring the expansion of domestic capability and deepening self-reliance”.
The report also disclosed that scientists at the Kumasi Centre for Collaborative Research (KCCR), one major testing Centre for COVID-19 in Ghana also made significant inputs into the development.
Just like the normal malaria tests we conduct, the device uses finger-prick blood to detect two different types of antibodies produced by the body when it is fighting COVID-19. This is irrespective of whether the person is showing symptoms or not.
The RDTK would be used for mass testing of the population to know all those who have been exposed to the virus, hence providing key data for efforts to model the course of the pandemic and also, enhance contact tracing efforts.
In Africa, Senegal pioneered the RDTK breakthrough in partnership with Mologic, UK. Their $1 testing kit made headlines. Ghana becomes the second country in Africa to achieve this feat.