How Nigeria Ranks In COVID-19 Test Price Compared To Other African Countries

There has been a growing outcry on the cost of doing a COVID-19 test in Nigeria especially by those returning to the country.

COVID-19 test continues to be at the centre of discussion in the outbreak of the virus in the country. 

Nigeria has had low number of tests when compared to other African countries, who have recorded a high infection rate on the continent.

While the Nigerian Government has given a number of reasons for the low tests done, the cost of COVID-19 test could also be said to be a factor.

In the heat of the outbreak in Africa, all countries ensured tests were being done freely with no charges provided one had been exposed to infected persons or have symptoms of the virus.

This is largely due to aids received from international bodies and foreign countries.

However, when the infection rate began to subside and lockdown measures relaxed, countries began charging individuals who needed to take the test.

In Nigeria, individuals who desired a COVID-19 test or free certificate must pay the sum of N50,954 to be tested. 

This payment also applies to nationals returning to the country as they are compelled to take a COVID-19 test before they board a flight home.

While the tests are being done free in some African countries, others require citizens to pay for the test. 

In Nigeria and some other countries, the test is being done free in government-owned centres for people at risk while nationals, who need the test for private use pay for the test.

Morocco charges as much as $136, which is the highest fee for COVID-19 test on the continent. 

This is followed closely by Nigeria where nationals have to pay $131 to be tested.

South Africa has recorded the highest number of COVID-19 cases and President Cyril Ramaphosa stated that it was because the country embarked on massive testing.

The country now charges $71 for testing in private centres while it is still free at government centres.

Egypt charges $30 for the test while Uganda introduced a $65 test fee for COVID-19, which became effective from September 1, 2020.

Kenya runs the test for $47 while with $94, an individual will be tested for COVID-19 in Algeria.

COVID-19 test remains free in countries like Madagascar, Sudan and Cameroon.

In ensuring massive COVID-19 tests on the continent, wealthy individuals from Bill Gates to Twitter’sJack Dorsey donated test kits to African countries. 

Jack Ma, founder of online retailer Alibaba, donated over one million test kits to Africa.

Also, Tony Elumelu’s UBA gave a donation of $14m through the UBA Foundation to combat the virus in Africa.

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