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Topics / African Academics

COVID-19 Testing Breakthrough Could Help Developing Countries

Wilfred Ndifon explains how pooled testing can help Rwanda track the spread of coronavirus

According to experts, widespread testing is one of the keys to keeping the COVID-19 pandemic under control, but for lower-income countries, shortages and costs of testing kits undermine those efforts. Wilfred Ndifon, director of research for the Corporation-supported African Institute of Mathematical Sciences Global Network, is working to change that.

Ndifon is part of a team that has devised a new form of pooled testing that can identify all infected individuals in a population without testing every individual, and it does so at a fraction of the cost of mass testing.

Listen to Ndifon explain his new method to the BBC here.


The African Institute of Mathematical Sciences is an academic network that enables Africa’s talented students to become innovators who propel scientific, educational, and economic self-sufficiency. Before becoming director of research at AIMS, Ndifon served as joint career development chair at the centers in South Africa and Ghana. He was a postdoctoral research fellow at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel and received a PhD from Princeton University where he was a Burroughs-Wellcome Training Fellow in Biological Dynamics.

TOP: A doctor wears a protective mask inside the emergency ward in Pikine Hospital in Dakar, West Africa, on April 23, 2020. (Credit: John Wessels/AFP via Getty Images)