African genomics company 54gene has launched a fund to tackle the current challenges around Covid-19 testing in Nigeria.

The company initially donated $150,000 to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control. Within 24 hours of the fund’s launch it had secured an additional $350,000 from its partners.

The money raised thus far will help increase Covid-19 testing capacity in the country by up to 1,000 additional tests a day. It will be used to buy testing instruments and the required biosafety materials such as biosafety cabinets and personal protective equipment needed to keep frontline healthcare workers safe.

54gene is also calling for the deployment of a specialised Covid-19 workforce trained in molecular diagnostics.