The 2019 founded ‘Das Labor. GmbH’, based in Potsdam, Germany, has been a member of the GHA since 2020. In addition to establishing and operating high-quality medical laboratories in Africa, the company has set up a production of SARS-CoV-2 rapid tests in Africa.
“We became a GHA member because the work of the GHA covers our core business very well. Due to the nature and number of member companies, the GHA network offers numerous opportunities for us to exchange experiences and cooperate,” explains Tom Halgasch, CEO ‘Das Labor. GmbH’, the reasons for the membership.
For example, ‘Das Labor. GmbH’ was already effectively supported by the network of a GHA member when entering the market in Côte d’Ivoire. ‘Das Labor. GmbH’, in turn, relies on the reliability of equipment from this GHA member in its laboratories, Halgasch describes the win-win situation.
The ‘Das Labor. GmbH’ has decided, in response to the COVID-19 outbreak and the inadequate supply situation in Africa, to invest in the construction of a facility for the production of SARS-CoV-2 antigen and antibody rapid tests for Africa in Africa as part of a collaboration with the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and the German Society for International Cooperation (GIZ). With the so-called ‘develoPPP.de’ program, GIZ promotes sustainable activities of companies in developing and emerging countries.
The new production facility, located in the VITIB Trade Zone just outside Abidjan, is the first facility in sub-Saharan Africa to produce SARS-CoV-2 rapid tests.
Under this development partnership with BMZ and GIZ, 50 percent of the tests produced are offered at no profit to the public health sector in Côte d’Ivoire and other African countries.
In most African countries, there is a lack of sufficient diagnostic capacity – especially in rural areas – to detect SARSCoV-2 by PCR testing. “With local production by our subsidiary ‘Biodiagnostic – The Lab. SAS’ in Abidjan, we can, on the one hand, improve the supply of cost-effective, high-quality rapid tests and, on the other hand, create a large number of qualified jobs in Africa,” Halgasch emphasizes.