A Moroccan foundation has developed tests to diagnose breast cancer and leukemia, which are expected to be commercially ready within months, serving the entire African continent, saving money and reducing waiting times for patients, according to one newspaper.Keeper“.
The newspaper quotes Hassan Sefrioui, a member of the executive committee of the Moroccan Foundation for Advanced Science, Innovation and Research (MASciR), which developed the new tests, as saying that “the cost of tests imported from abroad is double the cost of local production, plus waiting for shipment in weeks and months.”
Sefrioui explained that the development of diagnostic tests for cancer has been ongoing since 2010, “and tests for leukemia have already been used in Morocco on 400 people”.
Previously, all samples had to be sent to France for testing, which lengthened the waiting period and delayed the start of treatment, “but with locally produced test kits, we can get results within hours,” Sefrioui said.
Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer in Morocco and is a leading cause of death among women.
While survival rates for early detection remain high globally, a significant proportion of breast cancer cases in low- and middle-income countries, including Morocco, are detected at a later stage, increasing the risk of death.
Africa relies on imported tests, treatments and vaccines, something that has become a pressing concern for the continent’s health authorities since the Corona pandemic, with 70% of pharmaceuticals imported and up to 99% of vaccines.
During the pandemic, the Moroccan Foundation for Advanced Science, Innovation and Research has developed tests for diagnosing COVID-19, which have been sold in Senegal, Tunisia, Ivory Coast and Rwanda. “Cancer testing may also be available for those countries,” Sefrioui said.