A virologist at Kumasi Centre for Collaborative Research in Tropical Medicine, KCCR, Dr Michael Owusu is calling for a policy that will guide the usage of KNUST and Incas’ RDT kit.
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”.
Explaining whether or not the kit can be used for self-testing, Dr Owusu said self-testing comes with a lot for the individual.
“If you want to do self-testing a lot goes into this if you want to allow people to test themselves then the psychological aspect must be dealt with. When somebody tests it and he knows he is Covid positive how will he relate to the result? how will he interpret it? he asked.
He noted that the Ghana Health Service must come out with a policy that will provide the guideline for the usage of the kit.
“So if you look at all these it is important for the Ghana Health Service to come up with a policy that says that for this testing device they will expect to be used at the hospital premises or at the pharmacy by other workers. They have to come up with the policy to inform the general public on how best to use this kit, when to use and who to use it…”