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 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
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
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.
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Onono disclosed that the laboratory is in very secure and with
a 3-phase Olympian 220KVA backup power generator pending restocking.
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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
Emmanuel Ainebyoona, the Senior Communications Officer in the
Health Ministry disclosed that the University hasn’t made a formal proposal to