KNUST And INCAS Diagnostics Develop Rapid Diagnostic Test Kit For COVID-19
The Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology KNUST and Incas Diagnostics, a diagnostic company in Kumasi have developed and are optimizing Rapid Diagnostic Tests(RDT) for COVID-19 testing.
This significant contribution towards the fight against COVID-19 will augment the current COVID-19 testing regime in the country.
The development of the RDT is in line with two (2) of Ghana’s objectives in the fight against COVID-19; contain the spread of the virus, inspire the expansion of domestic capability and deepen self-reliance.
These serological tests which use finger-prick blood and in lateral flow format, similar to blood glucose test or home pregnancy test, detects two different types of antibodies produced by the body to fight off the COVID-19 infection about 7 days after infection and also in those who have been exposed to the virus but not showing any symptoms (asymptomatic) or recovered from the infection.
Current molecular diagnostics; Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) which is being used in the country detects parts of the viral genome very early in infection and takes at least 48 hours from testing to results; potentially delaying contact tracing and other efforts.
The PCR tests are also, unable to identify people who have been infected (symptomatic or asymptomatic) and recovered.
However, KNUST/Incas RDT detects asymptomatic cases, enables decentralized testing to be done anywhere without requiring any equipment.
The device also requires little technical training for those performing the test.
The test which takes 15-20 minutes to perform, would enable those tested to know their results in a shorter time to enable decision making in real-time by health authorities.
A key use of this RDT would be for mass testing of the population to identify all those who have been exposed to the virus and thus provide key data for efforts to model the course of the pandemic and also, enhance contact tracing efforts.
By indicating how much of the population is already likely immune because of mild infections, antibody data can offer a key to how fast the virus will continue to spread.
In the future, it could also, help identify recovered patients who could then donate their SARS-CoV-2 antibody-rich serum to help treat critically ill patients as is being done in some countries.
Another key application would be to identify frontline health workers who have been infected and developed likely immunity to the virus.
They would then be able to return to work early and treat patients safely.
For researchers in the country, the antibody tests would enable the study of the dynamics of immune responses of infected people.
As the country intends partnering and supporting Covid-19 vaccine development, the antibody tests would be invaluable in determining individual and community responses to the vaccine.
KNUST and Incas Diagnostics throughout the development have been in touch with the Ministry of Health and the National Covid-19 Response Team.
The developers are currently engaging the Food and Drug Authority for the necessary regulatory framework.
KNUST salutes Scientists from the Departments of Clinical Microbiology, Medical Diagnostics, Kumasi Centre for Collaborative Research (KCCR), and Incas Diagnostics for working tirelessly on this development.
Again, the team extends special appreciation to the Vice-Chancellor of KNUST, Professor Kwasi Obiri-Danso for his immense support and encouragement.
The team is also, grateful to the following organizations; The Centre for Advanced Rapid Diagnostics, Mologic, UK, Mastercard Foundation through the Ghana Tech Lab, the Ghana Association of Medical Laboratory Scientists and Dext Technologies, Kumasi for their support.
Study shows Children Born During Covid-19 Pandemic Have Lower IQs
Study shows Children Born During Covid-19 Pandemic Have Lower IQs
Study shows Children Born During Covid-19 Pandemic Have Lower IQs; A US study has claimed that children born during the COVID-19 pandemic have reduced verbal, oral and overall cognitive performance compared to children born pre-pandemic.
The research found that children from the lower socio-economic background are the most-affected. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, the mean IQ score on standardised tests for children aged between three months and three years was around 100, but for children born in the pandemic that number has fallen to 78.
For parents, who were able to continue their work from home, and did not face employment loss or any financial problems, the dual responsibilities of childcare and work have intensified the burden, especially on working women.
The dual responsibilities of childcare and work have increased the pressure on parents. And the families, whose bread earners lost their jobs, may have experienced greater stress, food and housing insecurities.
The study involved a total of 672 children from the state of Rhode Island. Of the total selected children, 308 kids were born before January 2019, while 188 kids took birth after July 2020. Besides, 176 of them were born between January 2019 and March 2020. The children involved in the study were mostly white and had no cognitive or developmental disabilities.
For the cognitive development of a child, the first few years of his/her life are critical. But with COVID-19 tightening its grip over our lives and causing the closure of schools, nurseries, and playgrounds, the infants’, as well as parents’ lives, have changed considerably.
Lead study author and associate professor of paediatrics (research) at Brown University, Sean Deoni said, “The biggest reason behind the falling scores is likely the lack of stimulation and interaction at home.”
- Ignatius Baffour- Awuah doubles as an Minister of employment and MP for Sunyani -West.
- He has been involved in a car accident.
- He was returning from a funeral
- His driver tried to overtake another car
The employment minister has been involved in an accident. The accident occurred on the Sunyani-Nsoatre road on his return from a funeral at Odumase on Saturday, August 14. The minister’s driver tried to overtake another driver but luck was not on their side as they collided with a tipper truck.
In a report, the minister fell from his vehicle and got injured. It is unclear whether or not the minister had his seat belt on.
Mr. Baffour-Awuah was rushed to the hospital immediately.
This is not the first time a government official has had an accident .The question to ask is, what is the cause?….
Over 1,000 reports on adverse effects of COVID-19 vaccines in Ghana received – GHS
Ghana Health Service GHS has received over 1000 reports on adverse effects of COVID-19 vaccines in Ghana so far
Adverse effects of COVID-19 vaccines: Extended Programme on Immunisation (EPI) of the Ghana Health Service (GHS) says it has received about 1,000 reports of adverse effects from persons vaccinated against the COVID-19 vaccine.
These are people vaccinated within 12 days of the first phase of the COVID-19 vaccination exercise.
Dr. Kwame Amponsa-Achino, the Programme Manager of the EPI, told the Ghana News Agency that the reactions and complaints received by his outfit and the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) were fever, sweating, headache, weakness, chills, and body aches, which were all expected.
The Programme Manager said the reports were not different from reactions and adverse reports from other countries and what was stated by the manufacturer in the vaccine package information.
Dr. Amponsa-Achiano said the complaints were received mainly through the complaints call the number provided on the vaccination card, the Med App, and a complaints link provided by the FDA.
He said data showed that as of 1900 hours on Sunday, March 14, nearly 404,000 persons had taken their first jab of the COVID-19 vaccine from the 43 districts earmarked for the first phase.
Those vaccinated include front-line health workers, adults aged 60 years and above, and people with underlying health conditions such as diabetes, kidney diseases, hypertension, and cancer.
The others are frontline security personnel, frontline government officials, the media, and all frontline workers in the formal sector.
A total of 20 million Ghanaians are expected to be vaccinated against the virus, Dr. Amponsa-Achiano said, adding that females formed about 62 percent of the number vaccinated so far.
He said about 58,000 persons with underlying health conditions, 91,000 adults aged 60 years and above, about 68,000 health workers, 23,000 frontline security personnel, and more than 48,000 essential service providers had received their first jabs.
Similarly, more than 12,000 members of the Executive, Judiciary, and Legislature, and 60,000 teachers aged 60 and above, more than 3,000 media persons, and 72,000 ordinary persons had been vaccinated.
Dr. Amponsah-Achiano encouraged the public to keep adhering to the COVID-19 safety protocols by wearing a nose mask, observing social distancing, washing hands with soap under running water, or sanitize hands frequently.
Coronaviruses are a large group of viruses that are common among animals. In rare cases, they are what scientists call zoonotic, meaning they can be transmitted from animals to humans, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
It has an incubation period of four to six days and fatal, especially for those with a weakened immune system, the elderly, and the very young.
It could also result in pneumonia and bronchitis.
AUDIO:”There’s nothing free in this country, politicians are liars and can’t give you a thing” – Senyo Hosi
“There’s nothing free in this country, politicians are liars and can’t give you a thing” – Senyo Hos
“There’s nothing free in this country, politicians are liars and can’t give you a thing” – Senyo Hosi; The CEO of the Ghana Chamber of Bulk Oil Distributors (CBOD), Senyo Hosi has told Ghanaians not to expect anything free in this country.
He has also accused politicians of lying and taking from Ghanaians.
According to him, the leaders of the country should not often tell the people of Ghana electricity prices have been subsidized, when in reality they haven’t.
“And then we just come here and start taxing petrol for sanitation. It’s the easiest thing you do.
“If you have problems with the power crisis, be honest with the people. Let the people know that you are not paying the right price for electricity.
His comments come after the Information Minister, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah on PM: Express Monday indicated that Ghanaians will have to pay for the free provision of water and electricity introduced by the government in 2020 as part of measures to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus.
“When we say free electricity it doesn’t mean that the IPP producer is also going to say because the President has said free electricity I won’t charge for it,” Kojo Oppong Nkrumah said.
But speaking on JoyNews’ Super Morning Show Tuesday, Mr. Hosi urged politicians to be transparent and brutally honest with Ghanaians regarding what it terms as being free.
“Don’t come and tell people that I’ve reduced electricity prices when you know you haven’t. There’s nothing free in this country. The politicians lie.
“They can’t give you a thing. They can only take from you. They can’t give you a thing. So be honest with the people. Stop telling them you’re giving them free stuff. How can I give you free with my right hand and collect two times or three times that much with my left hand? It is dishonest.”
Adding that, if the government incurred a shortfall of $1 billion in the electricity sector in 2020, why hasn’t the price of electricity is priced correctly?
“And then if you want to have a subsidy, go straight and let the public know that we are subsidizing electricity by so much.”
Moreover, the Finance and Economic policy analyst noted that the lack of servant leadership and misplaced priorities in our politicians is what is having an adverse effect on the economy.
“We’re sitting here. We’re not thinking of ways how to actually boost electricity demand. We’re thinking of how to buy V8. That is the conversation that you have.
“Do we look like people who really have a problem? If you’re in a country that is as broke as Ghana looks like today if you see me driving the car that I’m driving, shouldn’t. When I don’t have money, I don’t move that car,” he said.
Mr. Hosi urged the government not to burden Ghanaians with all these taxes it has come up with.
Meanwhile, in the 2021 budget statement, the new taxes and levies which have been introduced include; the financial sector clean-up levy, sanitation and pollution levy, Covid-19 health levy, and the energy sector recovery levy (Delta Fund).
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