Very soon you will be able to get tested for Covid-19 in a shorter time and at a lower cost in Kenya. 

This follows an initiative announced by the World Health Organisation targeting low and middle-income countries across the globe.

The move by WHO comes as many poor countries have been grappling with limited testing and delayed results in their fight against the virus.

Once the initiative is in place, it will take 15 – 30 minutes for those who have been tested to know their Covid-19 results. 

Also, a test will only cost Sh500 and not the current Sh1,000 charged in public health facilities and Sh5,000- 10, 000 in private hospitals.

WHO launched the 120 million low-cost rapid testing kits on Monday through the Access to Covid-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator Programme.

The deal was signed between manufacturers and financiers.

The Ministry of Health top officials have recently lamented at lack of reagents as a to hinderance to their ability to optimally conduct tests. 

Kenya, with a population of over 47 million, has only done slightly more than 500,000 tests and this might have aided the fast spread. 

“The tests are a critical tool for governments as they look to reopen economies and ultimately save both lives and livelihoods,” said Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the WHO Director-General.

The programme will last six months, based on the pact between Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and producers Abbott and SD Biosensor.

Kenya and other African states will get the kits through the Unitaid and Africa CDC, with the first tests rollout expected in about 20 countries before the week ends.