The Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI) has on Tuesday been selected to serve as the centre of excellence for evaluation of Covid-19 diagnostics in Africa.
KEMRI, which was established in 1979, is mandated to carry out health research will conduct the evaluation and validation of SARS-COV-2 diagnostics.
In its new role, KEMRI will also facilitate the capacity building on laboratories diagnostics of Covid-19 in Africa.
Africa has recorded over 40,000 Covid-19 cases, at least 17,000 Covid-19 related deaths and registered over 14,000 recoveries since the first case was reported in Egypt on 14th February 2020.
Since then, with the help from the private sector and international support African countries have sped up the production of Covid-19 testing kits in bid to contain the deadly virus.
Africa Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (Arica CDC) launched an initiative called Partnership to Accelerate COVID-19 Testing (PACT).
PACT aims to test over 10 million in the next four months, although this timescale falls far short of serving our very real immediate needs.
To combat the virus in the country, last week, the Ministry of Health launched target mass testing in high-risk areas such as Kawangware, Eastleigh and Mvita in Mombasa County to identify and isolate the infected in order to prevent further transmission.
Although the targeted countrywide mass testing registered low turnouts, the Health Ministry appealed to Kenyans to willingly come forward and be tested.
“We are appealing to Kenyans in targeted areas such as Kawangware to come forward to be tested if we have to flatten the curve,” said Chief Administrative Secretary Dr Rashid Aman.