With surveillance being at the centre of containing the spread of the coronavirus, the African Union Commission, on behalf of the Africa Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), is receiving a $ 1.4 million donation of sequencing systems and related consumables intended to expand COVID-19 sequencing capabilities and capacity in ten African countries.
With only few African public health institutions implementing Next-Generation Sequencing (NGS) based surveillance on SARS-CoV-2 positive samples, the donation from Illumina Inc. will enable more countries to rapidly characterize outbreak samples, without the need to ship samples across borders.
These countries include: the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Mali, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa and Uganda.
It is critical to provide access to NGS technology throughout the world to drive a global response that will be effective in supporting SARS-CoV-2 control efforts, and ultimately, help improve human health. This donation enables the Africa CDC to deeply understand the circulating virus throughout the continent, providing equitable access to important technology that can be used to help protect the health of the African population. With this outbreak, it has become clear that enabling local or regional proactive surveillance will benefit those immediately at risk as well as all of us around the globe.Phil Febbo, Illumina’s Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer