Mr. Kenneth Antwi, hands over the test kits to Prof. Ebenezer Oduro Owusu as Dr. Anthony Nsiah Asare, (third right) Presidential Advisor on Health looks on

Olam International, a leading global agribusiness and supply chain manager, in conjunction with the Singapore-based Temasek Foundation, donated a consignment of Fortitude Testing Kits to government in support of its fight against the spread of the coronavirus.

The two organisations presented Fortune Kit 2.0 testing kits and the MGIEasy Magnetic Beads Virus DNA/RNA Extraction Kit, each of which contains sufficient reagents for 200 tests, equivalent to a total of 20,000 test units.

Temasek Foundation, a shareholder of Olam International supports a diverse range of programmes aimed at uplifting lives and communities in Singapore and beyond. The Foundation’s programmes, made possible through philanthropic endowments, strive towards achieving positive outcomes for individuals and communities.

The primary purpose of the foundation’s various programmes is to strengthen social resilience, foster international exchange and regional capabilities, and advance science and nature.

The Fortitude Kit 2.0 is designed by Singapore’s Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) to detect the SARS-CoV-2 virus and is an ‘All-in-One’ kit for the detection of SARS-CoV-2 RNA while the MGIEasy Magnetic Beads Virus DNA/RNA Extraction Kit can efficiently purify the viral DNA and RNA from throat swabs, saliva, serum, plasma, BALF (bronchoalveolar lavage fluid), virus culture medium and is suitable for use in downstream molecular detection. This kit is suitable for manual and automated extraction on MGISP-960 and MGISP-100.

The kits come complete with all the materials required for the RT-PCR reaction, which includes the primer probes mix, the enzyme mix, the positive control, negative control and internal control template.

The consignment was handed over to the government through the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research in Accra. Mr. Kenneth Antwi, National Head of Human Resource at Olam Ghana presented the items on behalf of the Board and Management of Olam.

“We have previously focused our efforts on helping to improve the safety and welfare of frontline health workers, but with this consignment of testing kits, equivalent to 20,000 test units, it is our fervent hope that the capacity of the laboratories in the area of testing will be greatly strengthed to help the country win the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic,” Mr. Antwi said.

Dr. Anthony Nsiah Asare, Presidential Advisor on Health, commended Olam and their partners for the donation and urged other organisations in the corporate community to emulate the example.

Dr Nsia Asare said the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research, the Kumasi Centre for Collaborative Research (KCCR) and a number of laboratories in the country have played major roles in the fight against Covid-19 and it was a relief to realise that some corporate institutions like Olam have recognised their efforts and are motivated to lend support.

“The work of the Labs are very important, especially in the light of the fact that the dynamics of the strain of the virus are different from what we see in some European countries. We require more kits for increased testing, which is why we are grateful for Olam’s gesture today,” Dr Nsiah Asare said.

The Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ghana, Prof. Ebenezer Oduro Owusu said the Noguchi research facility is a centre of excellence, manned by a team which is very determined to prove that given the necessary inputs and support, it can perform beyond the country’s expectation.

“What Olam has done is proof that there is a segment of our society which appreciates what we do here and are willing to help,” he said. 

It may be recalled that in March this year, Olam donated two consignments of medical supplies to the Greater Accra Regional Hospital (GARTH) and the Kumasi Centre for Collaborative Research (KCCR), in support of the government’s efforts to curb the spread of the Coronavirus pandemic in the country.

Olam Ghana Limited, is a subsidiary of Olam International, with a 20-year track record in Ghana as a major supply chain manager of agric products and food ingredients. The company is ranked among the country’s leading Licensed Buying Companies (LBCs) and is a leading trader in Ghana’s cocoa beans into European and Asian markets.

With a staff headcount of 1,064 across its multiple business portfolios, Olam Ghana creates employment for a large workforce that services over 15 million distributors, retailers and consumers nationwide and has earned meritorious recognition from the Ghana Export Promotion Council for her contribution towards the expansion of the non-traditional export sector.