Rwanda to Offer Covid-19 Tests at All Public Hospitals

Rwanda to Offer Covid-19 Tests at All Public Hospitals

Looking at the recent daily reports by RBC medics, the country’s high number of tests done in a single day are often between 5,000 and 6,500

Rwanda’s testing capacity for Covid-19 is set to double following the establishment of new testing centres countrywide.

According to Dr Daniel Ngamije, the Minister for Health, Rwanda will soon test Covid-19 in all government hospitals.

Currently, according to Ngamije, Rwanda tests Covid-19 in 11 centres including Ruhengeri, Gihundwe, Rubavu, Nyagatare, Kirehe, Rwamagana, Kacyiru and Kibagabaga hospitals.

This is in addition to the National Referral Laboratory, the University Teaching Hospital of Butare (CHUB) and the Rwanda Military Hospital.

In all these centres, Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) is used, a technology that tests for Covid-19 by detecting the virus’s genetic material in a sample collected from a patient.

This is opposed to antigen tests that detect specific proteins on the surface of the virus; or antibody tests that test for Covid-19 by looking for antibodies that are made by the body’s immune system in response to this specific virus.

A medical staff conducts Covid-19 random tests at Nyabugogo market last week. Photo: Dan Nsengiyumva.

PCR testing is regarded as the ‘gold standard’ for the detection of some viruses and is characterised by high sensitivity and specificity.

In addition to PCR tests, Rwanda, last week launched the use of validated antigen rapid tests, which, according to Dr Sabin Nsanzimana, the Director General of the Rwanda Biomedical Centre (RBC), will be used to carry out quick tests in areas with high prevalence of the virus.