Week in health: First Rapid Ebola Test developed

A rapid test that takes 15 minutes should now allow Ebola patients to be identified, isolated and cared for as quickly as possible. Researchers say that the test works without electricity and can as well be used in remote areas.

A rapid test that takes 15 minutes should now allow Ebola patients to be identified, isolated and cared for as quickly as possible.

Researchers say that the test works without electricity and can as well be used in remote areas.

The ReEBOV Antigen Rapid Test, developed by US Company Corgenix, searches the blood for a different part of the virus.

Even though the test is less accurate than conventional tests, it takes minutes rather than hours to get a result.
A number of attempts including voluntary medical tests have been carried out in attempts to bring an end to the outbreak that has killed more than 9,300 people.

Meanwhile, Tubeho, an association of people living with HIV/Aids in Rwanda, still recalls December 2011 as a memorable month. These memories still linger because during that period, members saw their apiary project proposal receive $13,000 (about Rwf7 million) funding from the American Pepfar (President’s Emergency Plan for Aids Relief) to assist them produce honey.

And they hoped that their lives would be better with proceeds from the business in terms of improved nutrition and livelihood.

Although everything moved according to plan at the beginning, things changed when one morning they found that all the modern beehives and the honey extractor had been stolen.

After some years of silence, the association is now plotting to resuscitate the project to serve its purpose of according members a decent life.

Members say that while they get antiretroviral drugs (ARVs) in time, they lack a proper diet to ensure their bodies respond well to the medication. ARVs, according to experts, are more effective in inhibiting the virus that causes Aids when patients eat a nutritious and balanced diet. Without good feeding, the medication can weaken the body.

In another nutrition drive by Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, Nyamagabe and Rutsiro districts are to benefit from a $1.9 million (about Rwf1.3 billion) package.

Through the One UN Joint Nutrition Programme, the fund will be used to purchase 1,437 metric tonnes of fortified blended food to prevent stunting and reduce malnutrition of over 15,000 children below the age of two as well as pregnant and breastfeeding women.

Jean-Pierre de Margerie, the country director of World Food Programme said as a way of fighting chronic malnutrition, pregnant women, nursing mothers, infants and young children above six months need to eat energy dense and nutrient rich food as a way to avoid compromising their physical and mental development.

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