National Public Health Institute Reacts to Assertion of Liberia is Using Faulty Test Kits from the U.S. Center for Disease Control
Monrovia – The National Public Health Institute of Liberia (NPHIL) attention has been drawn to an article circulating in both international and local media quoting a Liberian scientist, Dr. Dougbeh Nyan, that many laboratories in the United States have reported trouble with the Coronavirus test kits produced by the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
“We are very concerned about the accuracy and other diagnostic characteristics of Coronavirus (COVID-19) Test-Kits sent to African countries during this outbreak”, he asserted.
Dr. Nyan further indicated that “African countries using any of these faulty testing kits from the US CDC could be at very high risk of misdetection, and therefore possible spread of the virus in the population if positive cases of Coronavirus (COVID-19) infections are missed. Some test kits presently used in Liberia were supplied by the US CDC to aid in monitoring the Coronavirus transmission which has already totaled over 80,000 cases worldwide and killed more than 2,500 people”, the news article quoted Dr. Nyan.
The National Public Health Institute of Liberia says it has not received any test kits from the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to test for COVID-19 as reported by Dr. Nyan. The National Reference Laboratory (NRL) a division under NPHIL has the capacity to test for COVID-19, but the test kits were donated by the World Health Organization (WHO). On March 2, 2020, the World Health Organization supplied 6 kits capable of performing 1000 reactions to test the COVID-19. These kits meet the highest International Standard as set by the WHO.
The Government of the Republic of Liberia through the National Public Health Institute of Liberia (NPHIL) and the Ministry of Health (MoH) continues to step up its preparedness efforts to protect the country against COVID-19.
With the rapid spread of the virus worldwide, Liberia has reported no confirmed case of COVID-19. Heightened surveillance – monitoring various ports of entry (POEs) and precautionary observation mechanisms are in place as part of preparedness measures.
NPHIL’s Acting Director General, Dr. Mosoka P. Fallah, has stressed the need for a national concerted effort as Liberia prepare against the virus.