Over 3 weeks ago Kreateng in partnership with African Centre of Excellence for Genomics of Infectious Diseases (ACEGID), Redeemer’s University, EDE launched a COVID-19 e-self assessment tool for individuals in Nigeria as a CSR project which was made available in 5 languages; Igbo, Yoruba, Hausa, Pidgin and English and proposed to the Government and NCDC for use.
As at Today the e-self assessment tool has been used by thousands of Nigerians in all the 36 states, including FCT to assess their risk of contracting the coronavirus using scientific and public health evidence based on the information provided by them. The outcome of the assessment depending on risk level provide users of the tool with ways to protect themselves, self isolate and engage with the closest NCDC for testing.
The partner research institute, ACEGID, Redeemer’s University, EDE, that helped sequence Ebola and coronavirus genomes and last year developed a test for Lassa fever using Crispr gene-editing technology at their state of art laboratory. Now using the same technology to develop a rapid diagnostic test for coronavirus. “We want to take that same approach for SARS-CoV-2,” the ACEGID Director, Prof. Happi said, adding that the test will find the RNA of the virus — the cellular information that would identify whether it is Covid-19 — and deliver a positive or negative result in about 30 minutes.
Key materials needed to produce the test including reagents are not available in Nigeria and will be slow to be delivered amid the global shutdown, he said, but the first prototype is expected to be ready in a “few weeks”.
We are hoping this will increase rate of testing and tracking of unconfirmed cases in the Country.