Mount Kenya University has become the first university in the country and the region to purchase a Real-Time PCR machine, which will be used for detecting COVID-19.
The machine, which will arrive in days, has been acquired at a cost of Ksh15 million, and is set to be a game changer for the institution.
“Ours is a commitment to the student population and the society at large that we want to ensure we can test all our students for the virus, at any time. We not only want to have the ability to test, but also impart skills to our medical students on how this is done since COVID-19 will be with us for a long time,” said MKU Vice Chancellor (VC) Prof. Deogratious Jaganyi.
“We are also considering extending the service to the community at a very reasonable rate, this being part of our corporate social responsibility to the society,” added the VC.
Currently, there are 34 medical institutions in Kenya which have approved PCR machines. Some of the institutions charge as high as Ksh10,000 for COVID-19 test.
Real time RT–PCR is one of the most widely used laboratory methods for detecting COVID-19.
While many countries have used real time RT–PCR for diagnosing other diseases, such as Ebola virus and Zika virus, many need support in adapting this method for COVID-19, as well as in increasing their national testing capacities.
The machine acquired by MKU has been imported from China, through TBG biotechnology corporation.
In 2020, Mount Kenya University Medical School was ranked the best in Kenya with a score of 82 out of the possible 100 points in an inspection conducted by a joint team of technical health experts from the East African Community (EAC) Partner States National Medical and Dental Practitioners Regulatory Councils.
The University met the necessary requirements for the training of medical students in a task which ensured that 13 institutions were inspected.
The inspection was done between March 2, 2020 and March 6, 2020 and was chaired by Dr. Nyemazi Alex, a member of the Education Committee, Rwanda Medical and Dental Council.