Makerere University to release COVID-19 test kits for Coronavirus disease

Makerere University Researchers led by Dr Misaki Wayengera to release COVID-19 test kits for Coronavirus disease by the end of April

Makerere University to release Coronavirus testing kits
Makerere University to release Coronavirus testing kits. File Photo

Amid-cases of deadly coronavirus, a team of pathology scientists at the Department of Pathology, Makerere University has stated that they are working to ensure that test kits for Coronavirus disease are released by at least April.

Dr Misaki Wayengera, a senior researcher at Makerere has indicated that they have taken on this mandate to develop Coronavirus COVID-19 test kits, as many Ugandans have been concerned as to where and how to test.

Dr Wayengera said he already found several proteins that he is studying to see how they function as a way to create a better test that provides good results and does not cause any side effects.

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He clarified that the test uses a medium for agglutination in which the patient just wants a swab from the nose or mouth and then puts it into the tube.

“We took up the mandate to develop the kit because people were bothering us. We already identified some proteins that will work and we are testing them to see how they work,”

Wayengera explained

“The test uses agglutination platform -where you get a swab from the nose or mouth, put it in the tube, shake and get results,”

he added

Dr Wayengera also said that he has partnered with a team of France experts to ensure that the best kits are made.

Wayengera, who could not reveal their real money, said that a lot of money was spent and still being spent on this project.

Dr Wayengera notes, however, that they won’t raise the cost of these kits to try to get their money back. He said the kits ‘price would be about one dollar (UGX 4000).

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The virus first discovered in Wuhan, China, has now become global with more than 576,000 individuals and 26,000 deaths since 27 March in 176 countries and regions.

Experts claim that coronavirus spreads through the respiratory droplets from cough among people in a similar fashion to influenza. The duration between exposure and onset of symptoms usually is five days, but it may be between 2 and 14 days.

The virus can cause pneumonia. Many that have been sick have cough, fever and trouble breathing. Organ failure can occur in serious cases. This viral pneumonia requires no use of antibiotics.

We do not have antiviral drugs to fight influenza. Recovery depends on the immune system’s strength. Many of the victims were in bad health already.

Simple transmission, like the infectious flue, is possible from one person to another. But the only difference is that it is greater than the usual flue as about 400,000 deaths are believed to occur every year across the world.

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The abbreviated COVID -19 coronavirus disease does not have a cure vaccine, meaning that it is harder to defend itself for susceptible population members, elderly or others who have known respiratory or immune issues.

The World Health Organization has put forward various steps including the washing of the hand with soap and avoiding crowded areas and self-isolation, to help minimize its dissemination.

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