President Uhuru Kenyatta unveiled the first locally Developed Malaria Rapid Diagnostic Test (RDT) Kit at the KEMRI, Kilifi Centre on Thursday.
The unveiled rapid diagnostic kit is a prototype with a promising performance and is expected to go through a validation process in the next 30 days before it can be submitted to the Pharmacy & Poisons Board for independent evaluation and registration.
The kit, which is expected to increase access of malaria diagnosis at the point of care and significantly reduce the cost of testing, will be ready for mass production, through a Public-Private Partnership with a local manufacturer by December this year.
Made in Kenya – Malaria Drugs
The President also made an announcement of the attainment of the first local manufacturer of Malaria medicines who has now attained the World Health Organization (WHO)’s Pre- Qualifications Standards.
President Uhuru Kenyatta lauded Kemri for the milestone and said that his government is committed to supporting the development of KEMRI to become a world-class research institution and that the government through the Ministry of Health will avail all resources that are needed to achieve this goal.
Kenya Medical Research Institute has over the years been at the forefront in the fight against malaria, with various projects being implemented in disease endemic counties which include but not limited to disease surveillance, case management, clinical and vaccines trials, vector control and management.
Malaria, along with malnutrition, is one of the leading causes of death in Africa, with the sub-Saharan region accounting for 94% of the global malaria cases and deaths. Pregnant women and children under 5 years old being the most vulnerable.