Vice president Dr. Mahamadu Bawumiah has commended the scientists of Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology for producing Rapid Diagnostic Test (RDT) kit to accelerate the testing of the novel virus in the country.
Scientists at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) and Incas Diagnostics, both based in the Ashanti Region capital, Kumasi, have manufactured RDT kit from Polymerase Chain Reaction or PCR, which look as pregnancy test to detect Ghanaians whether suspected persons are showing symptoms or not for a few minutes.
On the Vice president official Facebook page, he congratulated the scientists for their relentless effort contributing to the fight against the virus.
“ Congratulations to the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) and Incas Diagnostics for their breakthrough development of a Rapid Diagnostic Test (RDT) for COVID-19. Uniquely, this KNUST RDT is able to detect asymptomatic cases and takes up to 15-20 minutes to produce results.So proud of our Ghanaian scientists for this breakthrough” he lauded.
The RDT kit is pending approval from the Food and Drug Authority
How it work.
According to the Scientists from the Kumasi Centre for Collaborative Research (KCCR), the KNUST-Incas Diagnostic technology uses a finger-prick blood – just like blood glucose test or home pregnancy test – to detect two different types of antibodies produced by the body when it is fighting off Covid-19 infection at least seven days after infection – whether the person is showing symptoms or not.
The researchers at the two collaborating institutions explain that the current method of testing for Covid-19 in Ghana detects parts of the viral genome very early in infection and takes at least 48 hours from testing to results.
Although this method of testing is impressive and used in many other parts of the world, it can delay contact tracing and other efforts in the fight against the virus.
The PCR tests are also, unable to identify people who have been infected (symptomatic or asymptomatic) and recovered.Nevertheless, the KNUST-Incas Diagnostic kit detects asymptomatic cases, enables decentralised testing to be done anywhere without requiring any equipment.