Nigerian health tech logistics startup, Lifebank is doing its part in responding to the fast-rising number of confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in Nigeria. The startup, in partnership with the Nigerian Institute of Medical Research (NIMR), has launched a mobile testing centre to support the expansion of testing efforts in the country.
The Drive-thru Mass Testing lab which is located in Yaba, Lagos lets users walk in to test for free having completed the necessary processes. The whole idea and development took just 5 days to pull through. Since its launch on Monday, the lab has conducted 70 tests and is looking to scale up to conduct as much as 200 tests daily.
Nigeria confirmed its first Covid-19 case on February 27, 2020, when an Italian citizen in Lagos tested positive. A little over 30 days later, the number of confirmed cases in the country has soared to 139 with Lagos having the highest number, 82.
Of the total number, the country has recorded 9 recoveries and 2 deaths.
With the increase in confirmed cases, the amount of suspected cases the country is currently tracing rose to 6,000. With just 6 labs available in the country for testing, none is a drive-through mobile testing centre, there has been raising concerns that the tests are not been carried out as swiftly as possible.
Which is why a mass testing centre like that of Lifebank is important. The centre was developed with backing from UTL Trust Management Services Limited, Sterling Bank, Iyin Aboyeji of Future Africa and Subomi Plumptre of Alder Consulting.
Africa’s leading co-working space also contributed with the tech for the lab.
To get tested, users will need to register, get a confirmed appointment and a confirmation letter (which is to be printed) and proceed to the centre for further processes.
The startup is also not ruling out expanding to other areas across the state as well as to other states in the country once the resources are available.
This is not the first effort by Nigerian startups to do their part in addressing the COVID-19 pandemic in the country. Co-creation Hub (CcHUB) and Ventures Platform are offering funding and design support for projects on COVID-19.
CcHUB has also partnered with the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) to educate and sensitize people across the continent about the virus. Genomics health technology startup, 54Gene has also raised a $500,000 fund at improving Nigeria’s capacity to carry out tests for COVID-19.