The Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI) urged parliament to protect locally produced medical products from imports.
Speaking at the launch of her products, researcher Lucy Muita said Kenya should not import producing products.
Scientists have been working hard to develop anti-Covid-19 products as the whole world was closed, he said.
“When Covid-19 (hit) we found out that for many years we were relying on imported goods. There was a complete ban for two weeks and we could not import anything and we were doing everything to make sure we got a product like that (virus),” he said. .
Viral transmission (VTM) is a solution used to store viral samples after collection so that they can be transported and analyzed in the laboratory later.
Kemri leads flagship research projects in response to Covid-19. Includes VTM, sample testing and respiratory diagnostics, layout of the entire viral genome, and service testing equipment (PoCT).
Toxic equipment is used to test small blood samples, such as those taken from a finger, where the patient is, whether at home or in a doctor’s office. Allows testing faster than when samples are sent to the main laboratory.
Kemri has also developed a hand sanitizer which he calls KEM-Rub.
It also tests Covid-19 vaccines and tests the effectiveness of Covid-19 drugs.
Professor Simon Kariuki, Kemri’s acting chief executive, urged lawmakers to support the institution more so that it can fulfill its mandate.
“The Parliamentary Health Committee has continued to support us especially when it comes to pushing for research funding and has been at the forefront and I know it will continue to support Kemri because it is a national institution that supports the Ministry of Health and the region,” he said.
Kemri launched VTM, toys and pesticides, among other ongoing medical products at its Kilifi center.
Professor Kariuki said Kemri had previously introduced VTM solutions, but that was not possible when countries began building their stocks as the epidemic spread. So they had to start making their own and now they are exporting it to countries in the region.
KEM-Rub, an antiseptic, was also launched after customers advised the institute to stop the natural blue color.
Professor Kariuki said Kemri was receiving samples from Somalia, Mauritius, Madagascar, Burundi and South Sudan.
The institute is also a regional malaria control center.
“Our malaria panels are helping countries in the region develop a quality control system for malaria testing,” he added.