Zimbabwe: WHO Approves Ebola Testing Kit

Monday, February 23, 2015

In a major breakthrough, the World Health Organisation (WHO) on Friday announced that it had approved a rapid diagnostic test kit for Ebola that can provide results in 15 minutes and correctly identify 92% of patients infected by the disease.

The turn-around time of current tests for Ebola can vary between 12 and 24 hours and so the unveiling of the new test kit will go a long way in managing the disease better.

According to the international health body, not only is the antigen kit faster, but easy to perform. It does not require electricity and can therefore be used in lower health care facilities, or in mobile units for patients in remote settings. It also does not require highly trained personnel. However the new test is a little bit less accurate than the test that WHO was currently using.

The spokesman for WHO Tarik Jasarevic told reporters in Geneva that the test kit was developed by the US-based Corgenix Medical Corporation and WHO evaluated it under its Emergency Assessment and Use procedure that seeks to provide minimum quality, safety and performance assurances.

Already a number of agencies, such as the Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), have expressed interest in purchasing the kit.

The price of the kit has not yet been set as Corgenix is currently wrapping up some administrative procedures with the US Food and Drug Administration. The process is likely to take around two weeks after which the test kits will be readily available.

Source: allAfrica (link opens in a new window)

Health Care
infectious diseases