For the first time since the Covid-19 outbreak began, Africa may be poised to reshape rapid testing for the virus on the continent.
The Pasteur Institute, a biomedical research centre based in Senegal’s capital city of Dakar, says it is close to producing an affordable, handheld Covid-19 diagnostic test kit that can give results in a matter of minutes. The institute is running a new venture called DiaTropix, which has been working in partnership with five research organisations since March, including Mologic in the UK, to create the test kit.
Amadou Sall, director of the Pasteur Institute and Dia Tropix, said that the biomedical centre hopes the kit will cost as little as US$1 to purchase.
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“This is a very simple technology, like a pregnancy test that you can use everywhere at the community level, which is important for Africa,” he said.
According to Mologic, this rapid test kit does not require electricity or need laboratory analysis.