54gene is an African genomics research, services, and development company addressing the need to include under-represented African genomic data in research which could lead to medical breakthroughs and new healthcare solutions worldwide.
Through research collaborations and commercial partnerships, the study of African genetics will be made easy. Additionally, 54gene strives to understand the genetic impact on disease penetrance and risk in Africans.
With a mission of developing better diagnostic and risk assessment tests to inform a more targeted approach to healthcare. As a health technology company advancing the state of healthcare for the benefit of Africans, the COVID-19 pandemic in Nigeria was the point of call.
•Nigeria COVID-19 Fund
At the beginning of the pandemic, Nigeria’s COVID-19 testing capacity was around 200 tests a day. To increase the speed of testing a total of $500,000 was raised and this pushed testing capacity in public laboratories by at least 1,000 additional tests per day.
Through the COVID-19 fund, 54gene were able to deliver vital molecular testing instruments to the Nigeria Centers for Disease Control (NCDC) and other public laboratories.
•COVID-19 Mobile Laboratories
Nigeria was low on molecular laboratories and 54gene were able to remove the restrictions guiding such facility especially because of the pandemic and offer mobile laboratory services.
54gene became one of the first private laboratories to receive approval to join the network of accredited testing centers in the country.
•Testing of Returning Stranded Nigerians
COVID-19 testing services were provided to people who were previously unable to return to Nigeria due to the pandemic. The testing services enabled the federal government to make key decisions on isolation where and have tested more than 1500 passengers who have returned to Nigeria from various destinations.
• Addressing the Deficit in Molecular Scientists
As laboratories were set up, it became apparent that there was a void in the skill set required to work in these labs. There was a need to build capacity and teach more people to become professionals.
Hence, over 40 molecular scientists were trained on PCR techniques and empowered with skills required for COVID-19 testing.
•Molecular Training Academy
The lack of infrastructure and adequate knowledge base makes local universities within country make it unable to train students to internally standard. 54gene started a molecular training academy that will close the gap between classroom and field experience.
54 gene is set to change the health technology space in Africa with it disruptive ideas and preferring solutions of the African data bank in every way possible.