MKU becomes the First University to Acquire COVID-19 Testing Machine

By: Sumaya Hussein (

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Mount Kenya University has become the first university in the country to purchase a Real-Time PCR machine that will be used for detecting COVID-19.

The machine, acquired at Ksh15 million, is set to arrive in days from China through TBC biotechnology corporation. “Ours is a commitment to the student population and the society at large that we want to ensure we can test all our students for the virus, at any time,” said MKU’s new Vice-Chancellor Prof. Deogratious Jaganyi. “We not only want to have the ability to test, but also impart skills to our medical students on how this is done since COVID-19 will be with us for a long time.”

Prof. Jaganyi further added that the institution is considering extending the service to the community at a reasonable rate, this being part of their corporate social responsibility.

MKU Council Chair, Prof. David Serem (right) hands over the University’s Mace to the new VC Prof. Deogratius Jaganyi during his installation ceremony on 29th January 2021. Photo courtesy of KCB.

Real-Time RT-PCR is one of the most widely used laboratory methods for detecting COVID-19. Many countries use it to diagnose other diseases such as Ebola and Zika virus. Currently, there are 34 medical institutions in Kenya which have approved PCR machines and some charge as high as Ksh10,000 for Covid-19 test

In 2020, MKU Medical School was ranked the best in Kenya with a score of 82 out of 100 points in an inspection conducted by a team of technical health experts from East African Community Partner States National Medical and Dental Practitioners Regulatory Councils.

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