NEW YORK – (GenomeWeb) – Yemaachi Biotechnology, a molecular diagnostics firm headquartered in Accra, Ghana, last week began shipping its recently launched Sheba-HPV test, enabling Ghanaian women to screen for cervical cancer at home. Yemaachi is currently piloting its distribution model in Accra and Kumasi, with plans to expand its distribution network throughout the country over the coming months, before eventually bringing it to the wider East African region and possibly beyond.
The test consists of the Evalyn Brush, bought from Rovers Medical Devices, which is sent directly to customers, who send it back to Yemaachi via a company-distributed free drop box. The company then performs real-time qPCR analysis of that sample using the World Health Organization-recommended standard set of 15 medium- to high-risk HPV strains. These include HPV 16 and HPV 18, which together account for roughly 70 percent of all cervical cancer.
“The idea is that it’s a convenient, discreet way for women to screen themselves for HPV,” Yaw Bediako, founder and CEO of Yemaachi, said in an interview. With the kit at home, “[you] take your own sample, drop it in an envelope, drop it back at the pharmacy where you bought it, and you get your results …within 72 hours,” he added.
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