Nigeria creates low-cost rapid COVID-19 test

Nigerian scientists have developed a rapid COVID-19 test kit will help the country to ramp up testing.

A health care worker holds a rapid test kit (Photo: Jaipal Singh/Shutterstock)

Once approved, the molecular diagnostic test kits take about 40 minutes to give a result, and similar to the gold standard PCR test.

Director at the country’s Institute of Medical Research, Professor Babatunde Salako, said the innovation was borne out of the global sample testing challenges being experienced, in addition to the local challenge. He explained that Nigeria was unable to procure enough kits from China for its population of over 200 million.

The diagnostic tests kits will retail for less than US$25 and utilises a mobile machine for samples that can be operated by low-skilled personnel with minimal training.

Salako believes the rapid diagnostic test kits will prove useful where a preliminary screening test result is required and are especially useful in resource-limited settings.