The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, NCDC, has revealed the answer to one of the frequently asked questions on COVID-19 testing in the country.
The agency explained its main reason for not using rapid test kits, saying it can bring Diagnosticabout false result by giving false positive or negative results.
NCDC, in answering the question ‘why is Nigeria not using rapid test kits?’ stated: “Currently, most rapid diagnostic kits for #COVID19 can give false positive or false negative results”.
Meanwhile, the Nigeria Institute for Medical Research, NIMR, has entered into an agreement with Mobihealth, to conduct research and development on tele-consultation guided COVID-19 home self-swab test.
According to the NIMR DG, Prof. Babatunde Salako, the collaboration is aimed at comparing the efficiency of home self-swab test through tele-consultation guide to test samples collected at physical centres.
Salako said: “The R&D aims to investigate the efficiency of home self-swab test sample collection guided by tele-consultation compared to the walk in procedures sample at testing centre.
“The objective is to rapidly and safely collect and test larger samples of people for the virus, while limiting face-to- face testing and reducing the spread of the virus, especially among health workers” he said.
He said the partnership, which will be funded by a private initiative, will reduce need for PPE, save cost, reduce stigmatisation and increase openness to testing.
For Mobihealth, they were delighted to partner NIMR, towards increasing accessibility to diagnostic test, as well as reduce the spread of the infection.
They said “We are very pleased to partner with NIMR on this great initiative to ease the pressures, reduce spread of COVID19 and save cost.The date for the commencement of the programme will be announced soon”.
Similarly, the African Centre of Excellence for Genomics of Infectious Diseases, ACEGID, located in Ede, Osun State has indicated her interest in developing a rapid 10-minute diagnostics for coronavirus, which could help improve Nigeria’s abysmal testing numbers.
The centre, known for its pacesetting role in the containment of infectious diseases, rose to national prominence during the 2014-2016 Ebola outbreak after it developed a five-minute diagnostics test for Ebola, as well as Lassa fever.
Prof. Christian Happi, centre coordinator had earlier disclosed on the development thus: “We are working on developing rapid diagnostics. We are working to produce a-10-minutes rapid diagnostics. The Ebola diagnostics is different, but we are using the same technology to develop something similar.
“We are not there yet. I just want people to know that we have the technology. And we have done the same thing for Lassa fever. And we want to believe we would do the same thing for COVID-19,” he said.