Scientists at the African Centre of Excellence for Genomics of Infectious Diseases of Redeemer’s University in Osun State, Nigeria have been able to develop and patent two rapid diagnosis test kits – one for the Ebola virus Disease and the other for Lassa Virus.
It is the latest in a series of positive news that shows that Africa is better prepared to attack Ebola this time around. This current innovation was possible due to the precise planning and strategy that followed an established network of pathogens hunters in Nigeria and Africa.
With these devices, quick diagnosis of the deadly viruses have been made possible and Africa may have to thank the partnership which was set up to strengthen the capacity of the Lagos State Government in infectious disease diagnostics and epidemics preparedness.
The two inventions have already been recognized by The World Health Organization and the United States Food and Drug Agency and have been approved for use during epidemics.
Reports from the University say that the kits are able to detect, quickly, the virus in human body fluids in just 10 minutes. It is welcome news for these two viruses which have been behind the loss of countless lives in Nigeria and Africa at large.
Early detection plays a huge role in treatment and furthermore in stopping the spread of these viruses. No one wants a repeat of the 2014 Ebola spread which stole across Africa killing thousands in countries Liberia, Senegal and Sierra Leone.
An Ebola Outbreak was declared in DR Congo on May 12 and in a short while, over 52 suspected cases were reported. DR Congo’s health ministry approved the use of an experimental vaccine in the hopes that it will stop the outbreak in its tracks.
The vaccine, rVSV-ZEBOV, was shown in published findings to have a 100% protection rate. Trials of the vaccine were conducted in Guinea and thousands of people tested were all confirmed as virus-free within 10 days. If early detection by this new devices is combined with the experimental vaccine, the Ebola virus may be stopped in its tracks before it even has a chance to spread far and wide this time around.