The Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, KNUST and Incas Diagnostics, a diagnostic company in Kumasi, have developed a Rapid Diagnostic Test, RDT kit for the Covid-19 fight.
According to a statement signed by the Public Relations Officer of KNUST, Dr. Daniel Norris Bekoe, the creation of the test kit is in line with Ghana’s objectives in the fight against the coronavirus, specifically to “contain the spread of the virus, inspire the expansion of domestic capability and deepen self-reliance”.
The device, likened to the homemade kit used in testing glucose or pregnancy, only needs a finger-prick drop of blood from the individual and “detects two different types of antibodies produced by the body to fight off the COVID-19 infection about seven days after infection and also in those who have been exposed to the virus but not showing any symptoms (asymptomatic) or recovered from the infection”.
According to the statement, the testing process with this kit takes just about 15-20 minutes to perform, and “would enable those tested to know their results in a shorter time to enable decision making in real-time by health authorities”.
The COVID-19 RDT is however still being optimised and its “developers are currently engaging the Food and Drugs Authority for the necessary regulatory framework”.
Ghana’s Covid-19 fight
One of the key issues raised in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic in Ghana is the country’s ability to test a huge number of people as possible.
The country has currently conducted over 100, 000 tests. But the introduction of the RDT kit will boost the testing capacity and may even lead to the testing of everyone in the country with or without symptoms.
It will also help to know the incident rate in the country for well-informed decision to be taken with regards to the virus.
Minister for Information has also revealed that Noguchi and the FDA are expected to report on their RDT kit this week.
“This week we are expecting Noguchi, FDA and the experts to report on an RDT option to assist our surveillance, we are of the view that will help quicken the answer to the incident rate in Ghana assuming that is the model of the part that we want to add to our intervention. Despite the fact that I’m explaining the kind of framework we are using, this week we expect them to report because it is already discussed and they have already done work on which of the RDT will help us…’