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Kenya Launches COVID-19 PCR and Malaria Rapid Test Kits

The Malaria Rapid Test Kit (PlasmoCheK) will be instrumental in enabling faster diagnostics & surveillance of Malaria.

The Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI) on Tuesday announced the commercialisation of its COVID-19 PCR and malaria Rapid test Kits.

“These two kits will go a long way in improving Malaria diagnostics and COVID-19 disease detection, which remain our foremost health challenges not just in Kenya but globally,” Chief Administrative Secretary Ministry of Health Dr Rashid Aman said during the commissioning at the 12th KEMRI Annual Scientific & Health Conference at Safari Park Nairobi.

The two products have been approved for use by the Pharmacy and Poisons Board and will go a long way in reducing the cost of treatment in the country.

Dr Aman urged the Kemri management to hasten the marketing of the kits by having them available in all public and private health facilities so as to lower the cost of the service they will provide.

The Malaria Rapid Test Kit (PlasmoCheK) will be instrumental in enabling faster diagnostics & surveillance of Malaria. 

On the other hand, the KEMCov-19 PCR test kit is intended for qualitative pathogen detection and characterization of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2″ (SARS-CoV-2) Ribonucleic acid (RNA).

The COVID-19 test will cost Ksh 1,500 as compared to the usual Ksh2,000 in Kenya and at least Ksh 5,000 in public and private facilities respectively.

Ag. Director-General KEMRI, Prof. Sam Kariuki said the two products showcase the capabilities and innovativeness of their scientists in the country.

KEMRI says the two products will save the government KSh58 million for the malaria kits and KSh405 million for the Covid-19 PCR tests annually.

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