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Kenya scales up diagnostic capacity for resilience

Kenya diagnostic capacity_IF_Image
The pandemic has spurred innovation in the country, but medical companies are challenged by the increasing demand

Health authorities are scaling up the diagnostic capacity in Kenya on the back of the coronavirus pandemic. It is reported that the pandemic has spurred innovation in the country, but medical companies are challenged by the increasing demand in healthcare. 

Kenya’s Health Ministry on Twitter wrote “We have scaled up our diagnostic capacity which was defined by two testing laboratories prior to Covid-19, to 39 laboratories spread across 12 counties. We have hired and trained a new cohort of healthcare workers to complement our existing capacity.” 

Recently, the World Health Organisation has approved antigen-based rapid diagnostic tests for Covid-19 in Africa. This in turn will help the continent to enhance its testing capacity. It is also a landmark move for the continent in its fight against the infection, media reports said. 

Currently, the World Health Organisation has approved two tests: The Standard Q COVID-19 Antigen Test by SD Biosensor Inc and the Panbio COVID-19 Antigen Rapid Test Device. Dr Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa, at a conference told reporters “The new, antigen-based rapid diagnostic tests will help meet the huge testing needs in Africa. With rapid testing, authorities can stay a step ahead of Covid-19 by scaling up active case finding in challenging environments, such as crowded urban neighbourhoods and communities in the hinterlands.”

It is reported that the World Health Organisation has recommended the use of antigen-based rapid diagnostic tests in suspected outbreaks where there is lack of access to PCR testing.

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