DNA Analysis Program For Africa (DAPA)

ITSIBIO » DNA Analysis Program for Africa

ITSI – Biosciences takes immense pride in initiating a program to help research institutes, forensic science centers, universities, diagnostic laboratories, hospitals, and life science businesses in Africa.

For more information about our program, please feel free to contact us.

DNA program in Africa

ITSI – Biosciences has established a strategic partnership program that is specific for Africa. This program is for research institutes, forensic science centers, universities, diagnostic laboratories, hospitals and life science businesses in Africa that utilize DNA technologies.The sole purpose of this program, called DNA Analysis Program for Africa (DAPA) is to reduce the cost of starting and operating a DNA program in Africa.

Advances in DNA profiling can accelerate development in Africa because of its demonstrated impact in many areas including health, food security, biosecurity, disease detection, disease treatment, criminal investigations and law enforcement. DNA profiling and analysis capabilities is still low or nonexistent in many African countries. It has been recognized that the slow adaptation and low-level utilization in Africa is due to the relatively higher cost of entry, starting and operation. For example, our experience shows that the cost of starting and maintaining a DNA analysis program is on the average significantly higher in Africa compared to the United States of America, and many other countries outside Africa. This includes the cost of new equipment, equipment maintenance, reagents, consumables, and technical support. This higher cost is attributable to “logistics”, especially shipping, handling and clearing cost as well mas the number of middlemen/distributors between the manufacturer and the end-user in Africa. The bureaucratic and insensitive procurement policies and practices in many countries further contributes to why it is significantly more expensive to start and operate a DNA laboratory or analysis program sustainably in Africa.

The DAPA program will bring the cost of starting and operating a DNA program in many parts of Africa closer to what obtains in Europe and America. This will allow you start and operate your program more efficiently and at a lower cost. Ultimately, it will increase adaptation and utilization of DNA technologies in Africa leading to faster developments in key areas such as health, agriculture, law enforcement, security, standard of living, diversity and life expectancy.

ITSI-Biosciences achieves the goal of lowering cost by treating the DAPA partner as an extension of ITSI-Biosciences’. This allows ITSI – Biosciences to supply required items directly to the end user and provide the technical support needed to start and operate the laboratory. It gives the partner access to 50+ years of combined experience, resources available to ITSI-Biosciences and the extensive network of suppliers who sell to ITSI-Biosciences at a discount. The DAPA program consolidates processes and purchases and most importantly eliminates or reduces the number of middlemen between manufactures, for example in USA and end-users in Africa. ITSI-Biosciences will purchase, and supply key and specialized items required for the program, help with operations, data analysis and report generation.

The benefit of DAPA includes higher efficiency, higher productivity, and lower overall cost. This unique model will significantly reduce the time and cost required to bring DNA technologies into a laboratory in Africa or take advantage of the testing capabilities in other laboratories.

DAPA is possible because of ITSI-Biosciences’ experience and knowhow in the DNA field, excellent understanding of the African market space and the strategic relationships that exist between ITSI-Biosciences and major equipment and reagent manufacturers. As an extension of ITSI – Biosciences, DAPA partners will take full advantage of its scientific and technical knowhow, as well as access to a network of equipment and reagent suppliers, especially in USA.

ITSI-Biosciences can provide DAPA partners assistance in the following areas:

  • Program conceptualization, equipment and reagent selection/sourcing.
  • Facility design, buildout, operation and management of fit-for-purpose DNA testing, DNA banking and DNA forensic laboratories.
  • Supply of equipment and reagents.
  • Banking of DNA and RNA using dry-state and room temperature storage methods suitable for areas where electricity supply could be a challenge.
  • Development of SOPs and helping clients achieve ISO 17025:2017 accreditation.
  • Connecting laboratories with equipment and reagent suppliers.

ITSI-Biosciences’ DAPA initiative has been successfully leveraged in Africa for missing person identification, disaster victim identification, criminal investigation, biological relationship testing, and biomedical research.

Example of projects implemented under the DAPA partnership include:

1. Defence Identification Center, Defence Headquarters, Abuja, Nigeria.
This DAPA project owned by the Nigerian Defence Headquarters started in 2008. The scope of work included, conceptualization, design, buildout, supply of all equipment, reagents, training of personnel, and providing scientific/technical support and reagents on an ongoing basis. ITSI-Biosciences supplied and installed all the DNA banking and DNA analysis equipment and helps with management of the center. The DNA bank currently holds over 150,000 unique reference DNA samples, and the analysis unit is equipped with the ABI 3500 Genetic Analyzer.

2. Spintex Community Hospital, Accra, Ghana.

This DAPA project started in 2016, and it is ongoing. The scope included the design of the program, supply of Rapid DNA equipment, training of personnel and supply of reagents and consumables. It is equipped with the Rapid DNA equipment, which was supplied and maintained by ITSI-Biosciences. The laboratory is setup to perform rapid DNA analysis to test for biological relationships using reagents supplied by ITSI-Biosciences.

3. Lagos State DNA & Forensic Center (LSD&FC), Lagos, Nigeria.
This DAPA project owned by the Lagos State Government started in 2016. It involved conceptualization, design, buildout, hiring of personnel, supply of all equipment/reagents, training of personnel, operation and management of the center and implementation of a DNA database. ITSI-Biosciences led LSD&FC to ISO17025:2017 accreditation in 2019. LSD&FC is equipped with the ABI 3500 Genetic Analyzer and Rapid DNA instrument. It performs biological relationship tests (paternity, maternity, Sibship, avuncular), human remains identification, disaster victim identification and assists with civil and criminal investigations required by the Police, Lagos State Judiciary, military, public and foreign embassies.

4. National Biotechnology Development Agency (NABDA), Abuja, Nigeria.
This DAPA project started in 2017. It involved the conceptualization, supply of Rapid DNA equipment and training of NABDA personnel. The laboratory is setup to perform rapid DNA analysis as part of the national biotechnology development initiative of the federal government.

ITSI – Biosciences understands the importance of having the requisite knowledge and skills to operate analytical instruments. Thus, ITSIBio’s relationship with a DAPA partner does not end with the supply of equipment and initial training. There is a mentoring component which provides invaluable hands-on experience and confidence to the DAPA partner. This translates to greater success, improved efficiency and an overall lower cost of implementing a DNA analysis program.

ITSI-Biosciences will provide training and mentorship in the following areas:

  • Good laboratory and business practice.
  • Operation and maintenance of equipment.
  • Collection and storage of biological samples.
  • Development and use of standard operating procedures.
In addition to helping setup and manage fit-for-purpose DNA analysis laboratories that can be operated cost effectively in Africa, ITSI-Biosciences’ is working with local subsidiaries, representatives, and test providers to bring DNA solutions closer to the communities served by each hospital. This program provides DNA testing at a competitive price and turnaround time. The following hospitals are the “accredited DNA Collection Centers” that are taking advantage of the ITSI-Biosciences’ DAPA program.

  1. Asokoro District Hospital, 76 Kafe District, Asokoro, Abuja, Nigeria.
  2. County Hospital, 43/45 Isheri Road, Ojodu, Lagos, Nigeria.
  3. Krystal Hospital, 15 Emmanuel Keshi Street, Magodo Phase II, Lagos, Nigeria.
  4. Life Plan Laboratory, 3rd Avenue, Gwarinpa, Abuja, Nigeria.
  5. Marien Hospital, Montgomery Road, Yaba, Lagos, Nigeria.
  6. Peace Care Clinic, 46 3rd Avenue, Gwarinpa, Abuja, Nigeria.
  7. Spintex Community Hospital, Accra, Ghana.
  8. Luke’s Hospital, 18 Commercial Avenue, Sabo Yaba, Lagos, Nigeria.
  9. Mary Specialist, 458 Titilayo Adedoyin Street, Omole Phase 1, Ikeja Lagos, Nigeria.
  10. Well Life Hospital, 12b Atbara Street, Wuse 2, Abuja, Nigeria
  11. Zitadel Hospital, 1st Avenue, Gwarinpa, Abuja, Nigeria.
  12. Zitadel Hospital, 58 Prof. Okujagu Street, Trans Amadi, Port Harcourt, Nigeria.
  13. Zitadel Hospital, 60 Osong Ama Estate Rd, Uyo, Nigeria.

The DAPA is flexible and responsive to local needs and challenges. This makes it easy to enroll and leverage.

For more information about the DAPA program please contact:

DNA Analysis Program for Africa,
ITSI – Biosciences, LLC,
633 Napoleon Street,
Johnstown, PA 15901, USA.

Email: Rda@itsibio.com
Phone: +1-814-262-7331