RNASwift: Nigeria develops a sensitive, accurate and affordable rapid diagnostic test kit for Coronavirus.
Nigeria, the most populous black nation in the world have blazed the trail in the diagnosis and fight against the deadly COVID-19 – they are the first African country to successfully developed a rapid diagnostic test kit for coronavirus. The name of this test kit is known as RNASwift.
The Honourable Minister of Science and Technology, Dr Ogbonnaya Onu, today disclosed the good news during a word press conference in Abuja. He said:‘The RNA Swift has amazing precision for the detection of SARS-COV-2 and will be commercially available at a price that places it ahead of competitors in terms of sensitivity and affordability.’
The Fed. govt has announced a fully Nigerian developed, validated & affordable Test Kit (RNASwift) for the identification of the SARS COV 2, the causative agent of the COVID-19
Science & Tech Minister, Ogbonnaya Onu announced this at a world Press conference today pic.twitter.com/ky3li4MQVC
— Lauretta Onochie (@Laurestar) July 9, 2020
According to Dr Onu, the RNA Swift was borne out of a need in the Agricultural sector to test Nigerian farmers and labourers. He further disclosed that in the coming months, 5 Million farmers will be tested with the RNA Swift kits from the first 10 million kits to be produced.
Dr Onu described the development of the testing kit as “Nigeria’s gift and contribution to help Africa and the World fight the COVID-19 pandemic”, adding that by encouraging our scientists and innovators, Nigeria has the capacity to find solutions to global challenges.
He confirmed and appreciated the support of the African Development Bank, according to him, ‘I want to confirm to you that the RNASwift product team is in consultation with the African Development Bank for the funding of an African-wide testing programme for COVID-19 and the establishment for RNASwift production in Nigeria, we are really appreciative’
Dr Onu said the development of the test kit, was as a result of careful planning and strategic investments of the Ministry’s departments and agencies.
To round off his speech, he praised the Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Federal Ministry of Finance, The National Biotechnology Development Agency (NABDA), Sheffield University, Scientists and the Organized Private Sector for their collaborative efforts in the development of the rapid testing kits.
Over 30 Nigerians have been infected with coronavirus with deaths now over 500 according to the NCDC.