Uganda Unveils Home-Made Coronavirus Testing Kits Today

The country will today launch locally developed rapid kits for Covid-19 screening.

Dr Misaki Wayengera, the lead developer, said: “They will deliver the rapid antibody test kits to Makerere University for Covid-19 screening among staff and students on March 17 (today).”

Dr Misaki, a researcher at the Department of Pathology at Makerere University, who also developed the testing kits for Ebola, said the new Covid-19 kits were approved by the National Drug Authority and that it passed the World Health Organisation specifications.

Prof Barnabas Nawangwe, the University’s Vice-Chancellor, confirmed to Daily Monitor that he is aware of the launch.

Dr Misaki said the kits give results in five minutes. “We took up the mandate to develop the kit because people were bothering us. We started working on the kit in February [last year],” he said.

Cost of kits

Asked about the price of the kits, Dr Misaki said the cost will be around $1 (approximately Shs4,000) per kit.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Health yesterday flagged off a nationwide population-based survey for Covid-19, the third of its kind, to assess the prevalence of the infections.

Health minister Jane Ruth Aceng said the study will focus on 5,100 households to determine the risk factors for severe disease, and define the rates of asymptomatic and symptomatic infection in the population.

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