Contact Us
14 December 2021
UWC alumnus produces the first locally manufactured COVID-19 antigen test in Africa
University of the Western Cape alumnus Ashley Uys had enough reason to celebrate last week as his company, Medical Diagnostech, became the first business whose rapid COVID-19 antigen testing kit was approved by the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA).

“I am very proud and grateful and celebrated the fact that we created the first African-developed rapid testing kit for COVID. We are especially proud that we can offer a solution to a major challenge, which was the high cost of testing kits. The company sells its at about 35% less than the general cost of a kit,” said Uys (pictured).

“At the moment, everything in terms of testing kits available in South Africa is imported and everyone is paying premium pricing on products due to logistics and extra transporting costs. By us manufacturing it locally, we have a quicker turn-around time for delivery and we can supply testing kits at a much cheaper price.”

He has an incredible drive to see the African continent thrive and for finding ways to help solve Africa’s challenges, which is why he lives by the motto “Africa For Africa”.

The intellectual property and methodology they developed will be shared with other African countries which will use their own infrastructure. However, Uys’ team will provide training on how to use the testing kit and provide guidance on manufacturing.

“It is basically a turn-key franchising model, but obviously in a philanthropic way where there is no charge for the technology. This is what I feel Africa needs right now,” he said.

“In the next few years, the company is likely to employ more people as the business scales, but we are not at that point just yet. 

“The long-term plan is to see representation on all major continents, and in Africa; to see our main branches in the main African countries where we can supply all neighbouring countries like Nigeria, Egypt and Kenia. I would also like to see our manufacturing facilities represented within these major countries.” 

Read about Ashley Uys’ special bond with the University of the Western Cape: