The role of testing in the fight against COVID-19 : current happenings in Africa and the way forward

Abdul Aziz SEIDU*, John Elvis HAGAN, Edward Kwabena AMEYAW, Bright Opoku AHINKORAH, Thomas SCHACK

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)


The dramatic increase in suspected COVID-19 cases in Africa has placed an enormous burden on public and private clinical facilities. To date, the most commonly used method for identifying and confirming the virus is the laboratory-based reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test. Unfortunately, testing capacities have been limited in many parts of Africa because of inadequate test kits, which have restricted scaling up beyond the few public health laboratories at designated locations. In this mini-review, we present Africa's preparedness and readiness for testing, why testing is crucial, the need to immediately strengthen existing facilities, and what it involves as part of combined approaches for managing the COVID-19 crisis. The review highlights the urgent need for speedy expansion and distribution of several laboratory testing platforms, including real-time PCR and serological assays to both public health facilities and fully accredited private clinical laboratories.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)237-240
Number of pages4
JournalInternational Journal of Infectious Diseases
Early online date30 Jun 2020
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2020
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We sincerely thank the German Research Foundation through the Neurocognition and Action-Biomechanics Research Group , Bielefeld University, Germany for providing financial support for the publication of this research.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 The Author(s)


  • Africa
  • Assay
  • Laboratory
  • RT-PCR
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Serological
  • Test kits


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