Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Rapid sickle cell test launched

Laboratory specialist from Muhimbili National

Laboratory specialist from Muhimbili National hospital, Gration Rwegasisa (right) testing Arafa Said’ blood in inauguration of sickle cell scan diagnostic rapid test in Dar es Salaam yesterday. PHOTO|OMARY FUNGO 

By Hellen Nachilongo @ThecitizenTz

Dar es Salaam. The government in collaboration with sickle cell stakeholders yesterday launched the disease’s scan diagnostic rapid test, which detects the disease and gives results in three to five minutes.

Medomix Business Development Director Bob Kabugi said the new invention device would help detect the sickle cell disease (SCD) immediately after the baby was born.

“In the past, available methods of diagnosis of SDC were expensive, awkward, time consuming, difficult to interpret the results and for one to take it took one to two weeks,” he said. He explained that with the new technology, it did not require electricity, hence it could be used even in rural areas.

He added that it did not require expert personnel to interpret the results and it had 99 per cent of specificity and sensitivity.

Accordingly, he said sickle scan would increase survival prospects for children born with SCD in resources-limited areas, who would not otherwise have celebrated their 5th birthday.