EU and WHO set up COVID-19 diagnostic laboratory in Wau

A PCR‎ machine and other molecular laboratory accessories have been procured and installed for early diagnosis and commencement of specific interventions for diseases control

Image credit: @WHOSouthSudan

The European Union (EU) and WHO have established a molecular diagnostic laboratory in Wau, Western Bahr el Ghazal State, to increase testing capacity for COVID-19 and other high-threat infectious diseases.

A PCR‎ machine and other molecular laboratory accessories have been procured and installed for early diagnosis and commencement of specific interventions for diseases control. The laboratory will also support influenza sentinel surveillance, virological investigations and support sample referral from the peripheral laboratories in the region.

“Testing capacity can be attained through the development of proper facilities and expertise”, said South Sudan’s Health Minister, Honourable Elizabeth Achuei. “The establishment of the PCR diagnostic facility in Wau will support patient care as well as public health actions.”

Wim Vandenbroucke, Head of Cooperation, EU Delegation to the Republic of South Sudan said, “The strengthening of the health laboratory in Wau is part of a much wider commitment of the European Union to assist the population in the entire South Sudan. We express our sincere gratitude to the health care workers in Wau and elsewhere, who are crucial for ensuring basic health care services for all South Sudanese, in particular for the most vulnerable”.

“Ensuring quality diagnostics in laboratories is key to develop a sustainable public health response to infectious disease outbreaks and other global health security challenges”, said Dr Fabian Ndenzako, WHO representative a.i. for South Sudan. “Thanks to the EU, the installation of the PCR machine in Wau will strengthen the capacities of the country’s health system and improve the response to epidemics triggered by COVID-19 or any other dangerous pathogen.

Since the inception of the project, progress has included strengthening the National Public Health Laboratory capacity, procuring laboratory supplies, renovating the Wau laboratory infrastructure, training laboratory personnel on COVID-19 testing and sample management and the principles of COVID-19 infection prevention and control and supplying various equipment for running molecular laboratories.

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