ESET and SlovakAid donate Covid-19 testing kits to Kenya’s public hospitals

SlovakAid, a humanitarian relief program of the Republic of Slovakia, has donated 50,000 diagnostic tests, aimed at alleviating the effects of Covid-19 in Kenya.

The humanitarian aid worth about Kshs 27 million, includes 1 PCR thermocycler device to perform the tests and 20,000 FFP2 respirators as well as 1,800 litres of hand sanitizer, among other supplies, that arrived on Monday July 27, 2020, via plane from Bratislava, Slovakia.

Speaking during the handover ceremony, held at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, the CAS in the Ministry of Health, Mercy Mwangangi, said the country continues to face difficulties  of Covid-19 pandemic with over 93 percent of counties having reported positive cases as of July 25, 2020.

“This donation will enhance community engagement efforts in the management and control of Covid-19 even as we implement home based care. It will also compliment Government efforts in the provision of medical supplies while improving the capacity of the health workforce for Covid-19, infection prevention,” said Ms Mwangangi.

Funded by global internet security company ESET, the PCR test kit – vDetect COVID-19 RT-qPCR – was approved by the Slovak Republic’s State Institute for Drug Control (ŠUKL) on May 14, 2020. It was developed through the collaborative research of scientists from the Slovak company MultiplexDX and registered in the European Database on Medical devices (EUDAMED), on May 26, 2020, for distribution in Europe as a CE-marked in vitro diagnostic test.

Ken Kimani, Channel Manager for ESET East Africa said the firm, with a history of research and technology innovation in internet systems and data security, had invested over Kshs 17 million in the development of the vDetect COVID-19 RT-qPCR, for human testing for the Corona virus.

ESET has since the Covid-19 pandemic also extended various support initiatives for local businesses and consumers through provision of internet security technologies aimed at encouraging a safe and secure work-from-home culture for individuals, businesses and schools.

“We have extended the free trial period of ESET Internet Security from  30 days to 90 days for our consumer markets. for businesses, we have extended the 90-day trials of ESET Endpoint Protection Cloud for up to 250 Seats to also include the ESET Secure Authentication’, said Kimani.

The free trials can be accessed through ESET Small and Medium size Business, Remote Workforce support page.

Speaking at the event, Frantisek Dlhopolcek, the Slovak Republic Ambassador and Head of Mission, said Kenya is the first country to receive the PCR tests through the Slovak Humanitarian Aid. The second donation is destined for Lebanon in September 2020.

“Kenya is one of the three development cooperation program countries of the Slovak Republic and our strategic partner in sub-Saharan Africa. Since the pandemic started, the Slovak Republic has provided about 12 grants worth Kes 14.5 million to nine county governments and three Non-Governmental Organizations aimed at improving the Covid-19 crisis in the country”, said Dlhopolcek.

The projects are targeted on purchasing medical equipment like beds for hospital, thermometers, face masks, gloves, gowns, sanitizers and other medical essentials.

Key components of the vDetect COVID-19 RT-qPCR diagnostic kit were developed by MultiplexDX, a company dedicated to developing and manufacturing various innovative molecular diagnostic reagents. The quantitative in vitro diagnostic test is designed to detect the presence of SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus genetic information by RT-qPCR in body fluid samples taken primarily from the upper respiratory tract. The vDetect COVID-19 kit is one of the most accurate, universal and sensitive RT-qPCR tests on the market and is intended for use in the diagnostic laboratory only. It is certified by the Slovak Republic’s State Institute for Drug Control. ESET will continue to oversee the further development of the kit, which is also commercially available.


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