Expansion of COVID-19 Diagnostic Capacity in the Democratic Republic of Congo

St Luc hospital

Expansion of COVID-19 Diagnostic Capacity in the Democratic Republic of Congo*

PIs: Dr Sheila Makiala, Institut National de Recherche Biom√©dicale, DRC & Professor Gordon Dougan Dept of Medicine, University of Cambridge, UK.

COVID-19 has been reported in 5 of 26 provinces - Kinshasa, North Kivu, South Kivu, Ituri, and Kwilu. Most national testing is being done at INRB in Kinshasa, which has capacity to test 300 samples per day. There is an urgent need to increase capacity in Kinshasa, a city of 12 million inhabitants, and to provide additional diagnostic capacity outside of the city.

With funding from the Dougan Group and the Cambridge-Africa ALBORADA Research Fund, the project will deploy a portable PCR machine and reagents to INRB to enable 3000+ additional tests. Given its size and design, the machine can be used in rural settings without a great deal of supportive infrastructure. The plan is to use the machine primarily in the INRB virology lab in Kinshasa, and to use the machine in Kwilu and/or Kisantu a few days a week, thereby providing greater geographic coverage. 

*This project is supported by a Cambridge-Africa ALBORADA Research Fund COVID-19 Emergency Award

For more project updates and blogs please see our Cambridge-Africa Updates page. See our COVID-19 page for useful resources and links connected to COVID-19 in Cambridge and Africa.