UNZA DEVELOPING RAPID TEST METHOD FOR COVID-19
Published On August 20, 2020 » 183 Views» By Chibu Musonda » Stories
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By REBECCA MUSHOTA

THE University of Zambia (UNZA) is developing a method for the rapid detection of the Corona virus (COVID-19) that will be low cost, use low power, and based on easy-to-use point of care devices.
The multidisciplinary research project being undertaken by a team of  researchers in the Department of Chemistry and Biological Sciences under the School of Natural Sciences, draws expertise in Virology from the School of Veterinary Medicine.
This is according to a statement issued by UNZA acting head of communication and marketing Brenda Bukowa.
The goal of the research is to develop a method that uses a portable device that could detect the virus in a much shorter period compared to the conventional methods.
“Furthermore, the method will require less expertise to perform, involve lower costs, and be less labour intensive,” Ms Bukowa said.
Meanwhile, UNZA acting vice-chancellor,  Tamala Kambikambi has congratulated the multidisciplinary team of experts developing the novel method for the detection of the COVID-19.
Dr Kambikambi said that when faced with a crisis such as the COVID-19, the country looks for answers from researchers from institutions like UNZA.
She said the team of experts has shown commitment to finding solutions to the global crisis through the efforts being put in place to develop a method for testing COVID-19.
Dr Kambikambi said she was optimistic that the portable device to be developed would be of great importance in monitoring those that have the disease during therapy.
She said that the method for testing to be developed would add value in surveillance efforts being carried out in the communities and at strategic points owing to its ease in deployment and use.
She has expressed gratitude to the National Science and Technology Council (NSTC) for providing initial funding for the research. Recently, Minister of Health Chitalu Chilufya challenged researchers and scientists in Zambia to study and come up with interventions regarding COVID-19.

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