Key Diagnostics Boosted In Ethiopia

Roche Diagnostics and Retina Pharmaceuticals pave the way with powerful diagnostics instruments

ADDIS ABABA – Roche Diagnostics, in collaboration with Retina Pharmaceuticals, inaugurated the cobas® 6800 and 8800 systems to expand molecular testing capabilities and drive confident diagnostic results in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

The systems are the first of their kind in the country, installed at the Ethiopian Public Health Institute and St. Paul’s Hospital Millennium Medical College.

While the instruments were originally to be inaugurated as key diagnostics tools for COVID-19, they have opened a gateway to many other important diagnostics functions.

“The cobas 6800 and 8800 are the first very high throughput, fully integrated laboratory automation systems with a broad diagnostics menu, capable of addressing a variety of different diagnostics areas in the country and we are proud to be able to bring these instruments into this market,” said William Kuan, Marketing and Communications head of South Africa and sub-Saharan Africa at Roche Diagnostics.

The arrival of the systems in Ethiopia is the result of a strategic partnership between Ethiopian Government, Roche Diagnostics and Retina Pharmaceuticals, funded jointly by public and private sector contributors.

The machines have the capacity to test 3,000 and 1,500 samples in 24 hours with capability to screen for Covid-19, HIV, TB, hepatitis B, hepatitis C, cervical cancer, various sexually transmitted diseases, and other tests.

“The era of sending samples abroad for testing has to come to an end,” said Deme Gurmessa General Manager of Retina Pharmaceuticals.

“We at Retina Pharmaceuticals believe that all Ethiopian samples should be tested in Ethiopia,” Deme said, “Through strong partnerships like the one with Roche Diagnostics, we are able to bring these molecular testing solutions to the country and further contribute towards our healthcare system.”