The Federal Government of Nigeria, on Thursday, launched a diagnostic kit, RNASwift, for the identification of coronavirus’ causal agent.
The acting Director-General of National Biotechnology Development Agency (NABDA), Prof Alex Akpa, whose agency produced the kit, gave an insight on the capability of the kit at the launch in Abuja on Thursday.
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Here are some of the things he said:
- The new diagnostic kit was designed, developed and validated by Nigerian scientists.
- 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 the kit.
- It is a cost-effective but yet very top-of-the-range kit for COVID-19 testing.
- The development and validation of RNASwift was done in Nigerian laboratories, working with some scientists in the United Kingdom.
- The kit will enable Nigeria test five million farmers and farm labourers to ensure food security chain was not compromised by COVID-19.
- RNASwift diagnostic kit is accurate and sensitive and the validation results compare very favourably with conventional and commercially available kits for the diagnosis of COVID-19.
- Reagents used in the development of the protocol for the diagnostic kit are human and environmentally friendly.
- The kit will reshape Nigeria’s testing approach and bring the power of large scale and precise testing closer to more Nigerians.
- Two Nigerian companies, Graeme Blaque Advisory and Cellulant Nigeria Limited provided the financial support for the validation of the kit development protocol.
- About 10 million kits has been produced.