Well being and biotech firm 54Gene has raised $500,000 for a fund aimed toward enhancing Nigerias capability to perform exams for COVID-19.
The cash raised for the Nigeria COVID-19 Testing Assist Fund will ramp up testing for the illness by up to 1,000 extra exams a day, the corporate stated.
The improved capability can be achieved by shopping for testing devices, biosafety cupboards, private protecting gear and different supplies for the protection of well being employees and caregivers concerned in Nigerias response effort.
Fundraising continues to be in progress to increase the capability to 5,000 exams per day.
Since its founding in 2019, 54Gene has gained reward for an out-of-the field enterprise able to placing Africa on the worldwide healthcare map. The startup secured a $4.5 million seed funding barely 7 months after it launched. The sum was raised from buyers like YCombinator, Fifty Years, Higher Ventures, KdT Ventures, Hack VC and Techammer.
At its core, the corporate is concentrated on creating the biggest biobank of pan-African DNA in the world. It’s a mission that might have an important influence on drug growth, illness detection and high quality of life on the continent.
54Gene launched the fund on Thursday with $150,000. Different donors like Union Financial institution, a primary technology Nigerian monetary establishment, helped to boost the quantity to $500,000.
The fund can be managed to help Nigerias Centre for Illness Management (NCDC) in conducting extra exams throughout the nation. 54Gene will work with the NCDC and different stakeholders to begin buying the mandatory gear and supplies inside days.
The bought gear can be put in in public hospitals and laboratories throughout Nigeria. When the pandemic passes, they are going to stay in these areas to be used by medical researchers and clinicians in case of any future outbreaks, the corporate stated.
54Gene CEO Abasi Ene-Obong stated the initiative for the fund was an expression of his companys extraordinarily formidable mission to increase Nigerias testing capability. He expects that the hassle will enhance the current price by at least 10 occasions in the approaching weeks.
That might go a way in quelling public dissatisfaction with the tempo of testing in Nigeria. Whereas the variety of recognized circumstances stands at 51 giving the impression of comparatively low unfold, the variety of exams carried out has not cracked 200.
Against this, South Africa has carried out greater than 15,500 exams. An important distinction between each international locations has been that personal sector medical outfits have been allowed to conduct exams. In Nigeria, there are solely 5 accredited labs.
The NCDC has welcomed 54Genes assist in rising its potential to do extra exams.
That is the sort of assist we want. Determine an issue, run with it and embrace a sustainability plan in your answer. We’re very grateful for this new partnership with 54gene at a essential level in our well being safety, Chikwe Ihekweazu, Director Basic of NCDC, stated.