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Updated Apr 28, 2020

Senegal has become a leading example in the effective management of the COVID-19 pandemic. The West African country, which has a population of about 16 million, has managed to dramatically limit the spread of infection, and has to date recorded only 823 cases and nine deaths, partly by putting into practice lessons it learned from the 2014 Ebola outbreak.

 

A Health worker is seen before tending to patients inside a COVID-19 coronavirus ward that houses suspected cases in Pikine Hospital in Dakar on April 23, 2020. As COVID-19 coronavirus cases slowly increase in Senegal, hospitals are preparing to receive and test suspect cases whilst safely treating their normal patients. JOHN WESSELS / AFP
A health worker is seen before tending to patients suspected of having COVID-19 at Pikine Hospital in Dakar on April 23, 2020. (John Wessels/AFP)

 

The government was quick to institute sweeping lockdowns early on, including closing schools and banning large public events. Then the country partnered with the United Kingdom to develop a rapid diagnostic test that costs only US$1 to produce.

 

The test was designed to be used at home, similar to a home pregnancy test.

 

The test, which is currently undergoing validation trials, was designed to be used at home, similar to a home pregnancy test, to limit the number of people who need to gather at a medical center for diagnosis, as explained on Al Jazeera’s “The Take” podcast.

The plan is to manufacture the kits in Senegal and the UK, and to roll them out by June.

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