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KIU International Desk: Rwanda Launches Innovative COVID-19 Pool Testing


Rwanda has launched an innovative pool testing method that enables multiple people to have their samples tested together for COVID-19 without the need for single tests, to accurately determine individual results that come up positive, africanews reports.

The project is a brainchild of Wilfred Ndifon, a Rwanda researcher and it pools the tests by mixing the samples, and creating smaller pools, thereby reducing the number of samples to be tested, which makes the process very fast. In one day, they can report and give feedback to the patients.

This system, which is based on a mathematical formula, enables more tests to be administered in a shorter time and it reduces the entire cost by half, which typically is around $50.  It also assures that there is less risk of unknowingly spreading the virus when awaiting results.

Rwanda has been hailed by the World Health Organization for its response to the pandemic and is one of the least affected countries in Africa with around only 2,100 COVID-19 cases.

It has been able to do more than 300,000 tests which is almost the same number as neighbours Uganda, who have done 308,503 tests as of August 13 despite having a higher population.

Picture credit: africanews