EAC mobile laboratories enhance COVID-19 response


Member states of the East African Community (EAC) said Friday the regional bloc’s national mobile laboratories project has helped in enhancing COVID-19 response initiatives.

A statement issued by the EAC headquarters said the observation was made at the end of the 9th Regional Steering Committee Meeting of the EAC Regional Network of Public Health Reference Laboratories for Communicable Diseases.

John Ndemi Kiiru, head of the Department of Laboratory Services in the Kenyan Ministry of Health, said the national mobile laboratories project was a noble initiative that will have a great impact on the lives of the people of East Africa.

“The laboratories have facilitated the EAC member states to undertake various initiatives that would have otherwise been impossible to undertake,” he said.
The statement said the national mobile laboratories have reported to have undertaken more than 600,000 COVID-19 tests across the east African region since their deployment in the EAC member states in mid-2020.

In addition, the national mobile laboratories have played a significant role in reducing the turnaround time from sample collection to dispatch of test results from the initial three to five days, to the current average of eight hours, with Uganda reporting the shortest turnaround time of 5.5 hours, said the statement.

EAC member states are Burundi, Kenya, South Sudan, Tanzania, Rwanda and Uganda. Enditem

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