At the onset of increased transmission of COVID-19 in Kenya, the Kenyan government requested the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) to support the national diagnostic effort.
Leveraging on ILRI’s vast experience and expertise in molecular diagnosis and infectious disease research, the labs, tools and staff were seamlessly repurposed for COVID-19 testing. With funding from the German government (BMZ) ) and under the ILRI-led One Health Research Centre for Africa, COVID-19 testing reagents and extra equipment were purchased and ILRI initiated the testing within its biosafety level 3 (BSL-3) containment lab from 1st of June 2020.
Timely diagnostic testing to identify infected individuals is a major factor in controlling any disease outbreak. Early identification and reporting of COVID-19 is critical for public health intervention aimed at breaking the chain of transmission, which includes contact tracing, isolation and quarantine. Testing also helps with tracking the virus, understanding the epidemiology and case management.
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