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Universities’ COVID-19 Response

University of Ghana sequences COVID-19 Genome in Ghana

28th April 2020

At the University of Ghana, scientists have successfully sequenced the genomes of the coronavirus in Ghana. The feat, which was achieved through the collaborative effort of scientists from the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research (NMIMR) and the West African Centre for Cell Biology of Infectious Pathogens (WACCBIP), represents an important milestone in understanding the variations of the virus and has already been shared on the Global Initiative on Sharing All Influenza Data (GISAID) database. The Noguchi Memorial Institute, which is one of the two facilities initially designated for testing the Coronavirus remains Ghana’s primary testing facility for all suspected COVID-19 cases, accounting for over 80 percent of tests nationally. The University of Ghana also has a new 617-bed medical facility which has been designated as one of the COVID-19 care centres in Ghana.

Makerere University produces Ventilators and Tents

28th April 2020

The Makerere University is engaging on several fronts regarding the provision of medical equipment, test kits and personal protective equipment. For instance, the School of Public Health at the University of Makerere is collaborating with the Kiira Motors Corporation and the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI) under the Resilient Africa Network (RAN) Project to develop Open Design Low-Cost Ventilators to meet local demand. Already, engineering tests for the device, which will cost less than a third of the market price of imported ventilators, have been completed successfully and if animal-tests are successful, application to patients can commence. Uunder the same RAN project, large scale production of Epidemic Management Tent (EpiTent) has begun. The low-cost tents, which are accredited by the WHO and USAID, have a capacity of 50 patients and will be used to isolate COVID-19 patients.

University of Cape Town plays key role in tracking covid-19 cases

24th April 2020

The University of Cape Town (UCT) is playing a key role in tracking infected persons of the coronavirus in South Africa. Various efforts have also been put into generating reliable data on infection rates and modelling. A dashboard on daily infections has been created while researchers from the Department of Mathematics and Applied Mathematics is working on the epidemiological modelling of COVID-19 in Cape Town to assist in efforts aimed at combating the virus in the city. Again, owing to the critical role of accurate public information on the pandemic, the Global Surgery Division has developed an information dissemination platform targeted at communities without smartphones or internet access on their phones using Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) communication protocols.