Breaking

Gulu University Seeks UGX 2.5Bn for COVID-19 Diagnosis, Surveillance

Dr. Felix Kaducu Ocaka, the Dean Faculty of Medicine and Dr. Richard Echodu, the Director, Biosciences Research Laboratories at the Uganda, say government should consider the facility to complement Uganda Virus Research Institute in Entebbe, Uganda’s only reference laboratory.
07 Apr 2020 07:41
Gulu University Main Campus - Photo by Dominic Ochola

Audio 2

The faculty of medicine at Gulu University is seeking Shillings 2.5 billion from government to commence diagnosis; epidemiological surveillance and monitoring of Coronavirus-COVID-19 cases.

The University has a state-of-the art Biosciences Research Laboratories with 18 workrooms including seven specialised laboratories designed for detection and containment of infectious diseases like the COVID-19 pandemic.

An assessment of the facility by a team of experts from the Faculty indicates that the University has six units of Chain Reactions-PCR machines and two Real Time-PCR machines to run over 7,000 COVID19 samples a day. 

Dr. Felix Kaducu Ocaka, the Dean Faculty of Medicine and Dr. Richard Echodu, the Director, Biosciences Research Laboratories at the Uganda, say government should consider the facility to complement Uganda Virus Research Institute in Entebbe, Uganda’s only reference laboratory.

The two experts assert that creating an alternative access to accurate, rapid and confirmatory tests in detection of the virus will reduce the turnaround time for feedback on samples, improve patient outcomes and prevent the spread of the infectious plague.

The duo also cited rapid screening tests followed by PCR confirmatory checks that would be the best public health approach in COVID-19 surveillance, early case detection, confirmation and management of the contagion.

James Onono Ojok, the Public Relations Officer of Gulu University, says the multi-functional science laboratories can aid the Health Ministry and other development partners to deliver reliable test results based on standardised laboratory test protocols.

 

//Cue in: "This laboratory once…

Cue out… the necessary referral.”//  

Onono disclosed that the laboratory is in very secure and with a 3-phase Olympian 220KVA backup power generator pending restocking.

//Cue in: “We would need…  

Cue out… attention of Gov't.”//

Currently, the facility has 11 laboratory technologists who say are capable of following required guidelines in lab bio-safety and Good Microbiological Practices and Procedure (GMPP).

According to the experts, the University’s Biosafety Level 2 (BSL-2) laboratories are also suitable to do non propagative diagnostic laboratory work for COVID-19. 

The laboratory that is located in Laroo Division was financed by Government and the African Development Bank to the tune of USD 2 million in construction and additional USD 2.5 million in equipment.

Emmanuel Ainebyoona, the Senior Communications Officer in the Health Ministry disclosed that the University hasn’t made a formal proposal to the ministry.