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BITRI develops FMD rapid test

03 Aug 2022

 As part of a drive to diversify Botswana’s economy to a knowledge-based one, (BITRI) has developed a Foot and Mouth Disease rapid test

Presenting research project during the launch of Month of Science in Gaborone on Monday, scientific researcher at Botswana Institute for Technology Research and Innovation, Dr Boitumelo Madabuka said the rapid test innovation was a step in the right direction for the country to develop diagnostic tests as well as developing innovative detection measures to combat diseases.

She said the rapid test would significantly reduce the waiting period for results from the laboratories that were located far away from the cattle.

She further said the test would go a long way in assisting in monitoring the disease timeously, as well as reduce the costs associated with Foot and Mouth Disease diagnosis.

Dr Madabuka stressed the  importance of developing such a device for Foot and Mouth Disease detection, because livestock was key to the livelihoods of Batswana and Africa as a whole.

She said livestock was important to the continent’s food nutrition security and economy through intra-Africa and global trade.

“Beef and its by-products are Botswana’s export earners after diamonds, tourism and services,” she said.

She further said Botswana’s cattle also served as national wealth and prestige.

She said Foot and Mouth Disease had been a constraint to trade in animal and animal products, which adversely impacted on food security as it reduced herd fertility and livestock productivity, adding that any threat to the cattle industry was not only a threat to livelihoods, but also to cultural prestige.

She, therefore, said the development of a rapid test would reduce turnaround time for tests as well as reduce reliance on testing kits from other countries.

Dr Madabuka said Lateral Flow Device has been adapted as a diagnostic tool not only in humans, but also in veterinary medicine.

She said it was used for diagnosis because it was quick, simple to performed on site of outbreak, and required a minimum amount of training for personnel, because results interpretation were based on colour change. ENDS

Source : BOPA

Author : Lesedi Thatayamodimo

Location : GABORONE


Date : 03 Aug 2022