Senegalese Lab Uses Expertise To Develop $1 Coronavirus Testing Kit

A scientific staff member works in a secure laboratory, researching the coronavirus, at the Pasteur Institute in Dakar on February 3, 2020. - The Pasteur Institute in Dakar, designated by the African Union as one of the two reference centres in Africa for the detection of the new coronavirus that appeared in China, is hosting experts from 15 countries on the continent this weekend to prepare them to deal with the disease. (Photo by Seyllou / AFP) (Photo by SEYLLOU/AFP via Getty Images)

Senegalese Lab Uses Expertise To Develop $1 Coronavirus Testing Kit

The African nation has experience fighting deadly infectious diseases.

Published April 27th

Written by Nigel Roberts

As the deadly COVID-19 pandemic sweeps across the globe, the World Health Organization has warned Africa to “prepare for the worse.” The death toll in one of the world's poorest continents could reach nearly 10 million in the next six months, according to a WHO official.

However, a laboratory in Senegal is doing their part to help themselves by developing a $1 COVID-19 testing kit for its arsenal against the coronavirus, leveraging the country’s experience in combating deadly diseases like AIDS and Ebola, Aljazeera reports.

In the United States, the Trump administration has struggled to create a mass testing program that scientists say is needed. Multiple problems, including funding, distribution to hard-hit areas of the country, and a lack of early planning have crippled the efforts.

While there is no cure or vaccine to treat the disease, engineers in Senegal are also using 3D printers to manufacture $60 ventilators In addition to their inexpensive testing kits. It would cost the country about $16,000 to import the machines, according to the news outlet.

RELATED | Coronavirus Cases In Africa Could Reach 10 Million In Six Months

Senegal has the highest rate of recovery across Africa, and the third highest in the world, Aljazeera says. As of April 20, Senegal reported only three COVID-19 deaths, according to a WHO report.

Amadou Sall of the Institut Pasteur, in the capital Dakar, said Senegal expects to produce up to 4 million kits that officials could distribute across the continent.

For the latest on the coronavirus, check out BET’s blog on the virus, and contact your local health department or visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.


Photo by SEYLLOU/AFP via Getty Images


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