Coronavirus: Nigerian lab to roll out rapid test kits, transform Africa’s testing process

Testing for COVID-19 is on the path of significant improvement in Africa following the outcome of a major breakthrough by a Nigerian laboratory.

Christian Happi, a professor of molecular biology and genomics at African Centre for Genomics of Infectious Diseases (ACEGID) in Redeemer’s University, Ede Osun State, with his colleague of over two decades, Pardis Sabeti, who is a professor at the Center for Systems Biology and Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology at Harvard University in the United States, developed a rapid diagnostic test kits, using paper strips, to trigger a regime of mass testing across the continent.

Mr Happi came to public imagination in 2014 when, within four months of the Ebola outbreak, he helped confirm the diagnosis of the first case of the disease in Nigeria using advanced genomics and deep sequencing technology to advance swift diagnostic test, in five minutes, against the Ebola Virus Disease.


  1. Self Administer & Fast

The good thing about this test is that it takes only thirty (30) minutes and can be administered by anyone, anywhere, unlike the PCR test which takes about 7-8 hours and require the use of heavy machinery.”

  1. Reliable & Affordable

The new diagnostic test which also detects the virus’ nucleic acid like the PCR, offers more than time-saving to the patient, it offers significant out of pocket value to the patient. “While a PCR test costs $125 (N48,838), the paper strip test will cost only $3 (N1,163),” Mr Happi told PREMIUM TIMES, adding, “it is fast,reliable, affordable, and very comparable to PCR.”

In April, African Centre of Excellence for Genomics of Infectious Diseases (ACEGID) – Redeemer’s University, EDE, Osun State, Nigeria partner with KREATENG to develop the first e-Self Assessment tool for COVID-19 in Nigeria.

Link to the e-Self Assessment Tool

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