Federal Government of Nigeria unveiled a diagnostics test kit, RNA Swift, for the identification of SARS-CoV-2. It is the causative agent of COVID-19. UK-based Nigerian scientist, Alison Nwokeoji, developed the RNA swift test kit for COVID-19 at the University of Sheffield, U.K.
According to a journalist with the guardian news at the press conference in Abuja on Thursday, Minister of science and technology in Nigeria, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, stated: “The RNA Swift has amazing precision for the detection of SARS-COV-2. It will be commercially available at a price that places it ahead of competitors in terms of sensitivity and affordability.”
Furthermore, he described the development as “Nigeria’s gift and contribution to help Africa and the world fight the COVID-19 pandemic.”
The acting Director-General of NABDA , Prof Alex Akpa at the launch in Abuja said , It holds huge potentials for the country’s plan at scaling up testing for COVID-19.
“The diagnostic kit is a product of cutting-edge biotechnology, which involves the exploitation of molecular biology to design, develop and validate a cost-effective but yet very top-of-the-range kit for COVID-19 testing”
To conduct a test, the viral information which comes as the RNA has to first be extracted and identified. The virus contained in the RNA detects COVID-19. The project is in partnership with Ethiopia, Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) NABDA, NVRI Vom, NIMR and the Ministries of Science and Technology, Health and Agriculture and the University of Sheffield, U.K. African Development Bank funded the project and plans to take over the manufacture of the test kits.
NAN reports that, “The evaluation and validation of the RNAswift Test Kit for COVID-19 was carried out in the immunology laboratory of the NABDA”