Fate Philanthropy Coalition for COVID-19 (FPCC) Support Fund, a philanthropic unit of FATE Foundation, has provided research grant that supported Nigeria Institute of Medical Research (NIMR) to design and develop the SARS-CoV-2 Isothermal Molecular Assay (SIMA) to contain Covid-19.
Coordinator of the FPPC Support Fund, Fola Adeola, said: “Pioneering this research led by some of our nation’s leading public health researchers at NIMR exemplifies the potential of health innovation when supported.’’
He said the group was excited about the possibilities of this innovation in containing the COVID-19 spread and identifying people infected.
He noted that the FPCC Support Fund was set up on March 23, 2020 to support national and community efforts to ameliorate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Nigeria by keying into local and national government’s efforts to properly equip public health facilities and front-line personnel.
“Till date, the investments fund have supported other public health institutions including the Lagos University Teaching Hospital and the National Ortheopeadic Hospital, Igbobi, Lagos,” he added.
The SARS-CoV-2 Isothermal Molecular Assay is a Point-of-Care molecular test kit that can detect COVID-19 in real-time in less than 40 minutes, compared to at least two hours that it takes the testing protocols.
SIMA is the first of its kind and was fully funded by the FATE Philanthropy Coalition for COVID-19 Support Fund (PFCC).
Also speaking, Director General, NIMR, Prof. Babatunde Salako, said: “the impact of this innovation is a fast and sensitive point-of-care test for SARS-CoV-2 using molecular technique. Its also a very reliable test kit and not just for antibodies or antigen testing. With the Ribonucleic Acid (RNA) extraction system, NIMR can achieve some a total 32 tests result in one hour.”
He also noted that with relevant support, the test kit reagents can be produced in country with 80-90 per cent locally sourced materials.
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