South Sudan – Establishment of a molecular diagnostic laboratory to detect COVID-19

The European Union (EU) and the World Health Organization (WHO) on Wednesday established a molecular diagnostic laboratory in Wau, South Sudan, to increase the capacity of screening for COVID-19 and other high-risk infectious diseases.

Elizabeth Achuei, Minister of Health of South Sudan, explained that a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) machine and other molecular laboratory accessories had been purchased and installed to enable early diagnosis and launch of specific disease control interventions, as part of efforts to expand testing for COVID-19 in the Grand Bahr el Ghazal region.

“The testing capacity can be achieved by the development of appropriate facilities and expertise. The establishment of the PCR diagnostic facility in Wau will support patient care as well as public health actions”, a- she said in a joint statement released in Juba.

The laboratory will also support sentinel influenza surveillance, virological surveys, and the dispatch of samples by peripheral laboratories in the region.

Since the declaration of the COVID-19 epidemic in April 2020 in the country, a total of 214,371 tests have been carried out in South Sudan, of which 11,446 samples have tested positive, according to the Ministry of Health.

Wim Vandenbroucke, Head of Cooperation of the EU Delegation to South Sudan, said the strengthening of the Wau health laboratory is part of a much broader EU commitment to the population of the whole of South Sudan.

According to the WHO, molecular diagnostics is one of the most evolving and essential tools for monitoring and controlling the disease.

Fabian Ndenzako, WHO Acting Representative in South Sudan, said ensuring quality laboratory diagnostics is essential to building a sustainable public health response to infectious disease outbreaks and other challenges to global health security.

Mr. Ndenzako added that installing the PCR machine in Wau would strengthen the capacity of the country’s health system and improve the response to epidemics triggered by COVID-19 or any other dangerous pathogen. The European Union (EU) and the World Health Organization (WHO) on Wednesday established a molecular diagnostic laboratory in Wau, South Sudan, to increase the capacity of screening for COVID-19 and other high-risk infectious diseases.

Elizabeth Achuei, Minister of Health of South Sudan, explained that a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) machine and other molecular laboratory accessories had been purchased and installed to enable early diagnosis and launch of specific disease control interventions, as part of efforts to expand testing for COVID-19 in the Grand Bahr el Ghazal region.

“The testing capacity can be achieved by the development of appropriate facilities and expertise. The establishment of the PCR diagnostic facility in Wau will support patient care as well as public health actions”, a- she said in a joint statement released in Juba.

The laboratory will also support sentinel influenza surveillance, virological surveys, and the dispatch of samples by peripheral laboratories in the region.

Since the declaration of the COVID-19 epidemic in April 2020 in the country, a total of 214,371 tests have been carried out in South Sudan, of which 11,446 samples have tested positive, according to the Ministry of Health.

Wim Vandenbroucke, Head of Cooperation of the EU Delegation to South Sudan, said the strengthening of the Wau health laboratory is part of a much broader EU commitment to the population of the whole of South Sudan.

According to the WHO, molecular diagnostics is one of the most evolving and essential tools for monitoring and controlling the disease.

Fabian Ndenzako, WHO Acting Representative in South Sudan, said ensuring quality laboratory diagnostics is essential to building a sustainable public health response to infectious disease outbreaks and other challenges to global health security.

Mr. Ndenzako added that installing the PCR machine in Wau would strengthen the capacity of the country’s health system and improve the response to epidemics triggered by COVID-19 or any other dangerous pathogen.

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