The government has received a consignment of 20,000 test units from two organisations to support the country’s fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
Olam International, a global agribusiness and supply chain management firm and the Singapore-based Temasek Foundation donated the kits.
The test units comprised Fortune Kit 2.0 testing kits and the MGIEasy Magnetic Beads Virus DNA/RNA Extraction Kit, each of which contains sufficient reagents for 200 tests.
The Fortitude Kit 2.0 is used to detect the SARS-CoV-2 virus and is an ‘All-in-One’ kit for the detection of SARS-CoV-2 Ribonucleic Acid (RNA), a molecule in the body cells.
The MGIEasy Magnetic Beads Virus Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA)/RNA Extraction Kit on the other hand, purifies the viral DNA and RNA from throat swabs, saliva, serum, plasma, BALF (bronchoalveolar lavage fluid) and virus culture medium.
Mr Kenneth Antwi, National Head of HR at Olam Ghana presented the items on behalf of the donors to the government through the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research in Accra.
“We have previously focused our efforts on helping to improve the safety and welfare of frontline health workers, but with this consignment of testing kits, equivalent to 20,000 test units, it is our fervent hope that the capacity of the laboratories in the area of testing will be greatly strengthed and help the country win the fight against the COVID 19 pandemic,” he said.
Dr Anthony Nsiah Asare, Presidential Advisor on Health, commended Olam and their partners for the donation and urged other organisations in the corporate community to emulate the example.
He said the Noguchi, the Kumasi Centre for Collaborative Research (KCCR) and a number of laboratories in the country have played a major role in the fight against COVID 19 and it was a relief to realise that some corporate institutions like Olam have recognised their efforts and are motivated to lend support.
“The work of the laboratories is very important, especially in the light of the fact that the dynamics of the strain of the virus are different from what we see in some European countries. We require more kits for increased testing, which is why we are grateful for Olam’s gesture today,” he said.
The Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ghana, Prof. Ebenezer Oduro Owusu said the Noguchi research facility was a centre of excellence, manned by a team which was very determined to prove that given the necessary inputs and support, it could perform beyond the country’s expectation.
“What Olam has done is proof that there is a segment of our society which appreciates what we do here and are willing to help,” he said.